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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » The Randoms » Are you/have you been in foster care?

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Author Topic: Are you/have you been in foster care?
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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It doesn't happen all that often, but I'm actually posting to ask some of you for advice.

In the next few years, I'm planning to pursue foster parenting. While I've had a few people in my life who have been foster children, and I work a couple times a month with foster teens here in Seattle, I'd really love to hear from those of you who have been.

Really, I'm just looking to hear about your experiences, particularly when it's come to -- if you've had this experience -- foster parents/families who you really felt at home with, and who were a good fit for you. Why you felt the fit was good, what made them better than others you may have had before, the works. Basically, I want to do all I can to be as prepared as I can be beyond the practical issues: I want to know from foster children -- rather than just foster agencies -- what you feel like you need.

Up for it? I'd be very appreciative.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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ilovemydog123
Activist
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Hi Heather.

My parents died when I was about five months old, and I've been in foster care ever since. I'm 15 now, and will be moving to my 6th foster home tomorrow. If you'd like, I'd be happy to share some of my experiences, since I've had some good ones, and not-so-good ones.

~Erica

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Erica, that'd be really amazing, thanks so much.

I'm so sorry about the death of your parents.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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ilovemydog123
Activist
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You're welcome [Smile]

But first, may I ask what age are you looking to foster?

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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I'm not really, save that my goal is to make clear that I'm very much open to fostering youth of an age that tend to get left behind more often (like teens). Babies seem to have no trouble getting placed, and through my years as an educator, I haven't found an age of kid I couldn't like and love.

I also would be totally down with sibs so they don't have to get split up, as well as with youth who have survived abuse or violence.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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ilovemydog123
Activist
Member # 43409

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Wow. The world needs more foster parents like you!

Where to begin?

I think my most awkward (but not worst) foster home was my last. I moved there when I was twelve and beginning to go through puberty without parents, so I looking back I guess I was probably a handful at first.

I think the mistake Randy and Jill made with me was that they stayed distant from me, knowing my previous reactions in past foster homes to being smothered.

I got my period at age twelve, had no idea what it was and got really scared that something was wrong with me. I didn't want to ask my foster parents, as they kept their distance, and I thought that they didn't like me. It was only when they began to teach it at school when I realised that I was normal.

I remember that sometimes I would act up to get their attention, and thought that I would get them to like me this way. When I realised that it wasn't going to work I finally just blew up and practically yelled in their faces "WHY DON'T YOU LIKE ME?!"

It doesn't help to keep your distance, but it doesn't help to smother either. My favourite foster parents found kind of a middle ground, get what I'm saying?

My third foster home, for me, was definitely the worst because I was smothered. The foster parents thought that they should act as a replacement for my real parents and insisted that I call them Mum and Dad. Of course I felt really uncomfortable with this, but didn't want to say anything because I didn't want to offend them. Their home was the shortest stay I had with a foster home.

My favourite foster home was when I was about eight (my fourth foster home). I remember that my foster mother was really nice; always cheerful and caring and stuff, but never over-bearing and made me feel totally welcome.

She gave me the space I needed (just a side note: days like fathers day, mothers day, my parents anniversary and their birthdays are really hard days for me and probably every orphan, so this is we definitely need to know that you're there to talk, but will give us our space when needed) and would subtly let me know that she was free to talk about anything where ever. I loved her. She treated her foster kids with equal amounts of love, and was just one of those people who you couldn't help but love. She made our foster family actually feel like a real family.

She also let all of us kids be ourselves, and didn't expect us to be the perfectly behaved little kids you see on tv.

She would let us express ourselves, which for me, was through singing and dancing. She would go to all of my competitions and recitals and stuff and cheer me on, and listen to me practise and stuff when I was at home.

One of my favourite things about her was that she would also just listen to me without interrupting or anything. Whenever I needed a good cry or whatever on the days I mentioned earlier, she would just lend a listening ear and make me feel safe and comforted.

It was a sad time for me when she died when I was twelve.

Today I moved into my sixth foster home, and I'm liking it so far. Debbie and Bill are really nice, and I'm hoping that this will be my last foster home before I turn 18.

A couple of months before the end of my last foster home, I went through a..... traumatic experience that still terrifies the living hell out of me now. We didn't really see eye-to-eye on a lot of things, but after it happened and I began keeping to myself more, she began to accuse me of keeping secrets. Well, I was, but I didn't trust her enough to tell her something like this.

She'd already accused me of being a liar and an attention seeker previous to this, so I knew that I definitely didn't want to tell her about it.

But I've moved on now and I'm hoping this will be a good fit. I actually made up a list of tips I would give to foster parents when a while back I was asked about what I would tell my foster parents if I had to go back to them.

I'd be happy to share this list with you!

Also, if you have any questions or anything, feel free to ask [Smile] I'm pretty much only scratching the surface here lol.

Wow, I wrote a lot! Sorry about that!

~Er

[ 07-29-2009, 05:05 AM: Message edited by: ilovemydog123 ]

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ilovemydog123
Activist
Member # 43409

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And may I just add that I think its amazing that you'd be more than willing to take on siblings? I've come across quite a few kids in some of my previous homes who were really scared and upset because they'd been separated from their brother or sister, whilst also still being traumatized from whatever reason they were at the time.

~Er

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