Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I learned a lesson today about advocating for a kid stuck in the foster system. Something has been eating me since Monday. After spending the day with T., I filed our requisite report with our agency and DCFS. In the report, I politely suggested that T. has indicated that he's ready to stay overnight with us, and we arranged visits over the next two weekends with him - and at this point, I think it would be great if a social worker checked in with him about how he's feeling. His social worker told me she was going to check in with him "in the next week or so."

At first that seemed okay, because I know she's stretched really thin and planning a visit with him requires at least 2.5 hours of driving round trip. But it started to bug me. He acts cool, but he's got to be experiencing some mix of emotions about this flirtation with adoption. Our program suggests you go slow and do casual activities with the kids a couple times a month - but I think because T. has been so set on adoption, and because he's clearly worried about aging out of the system without a family, his approach to this process is a little more intense. So I wrote to her again, knowing that I'm making myself a pain in the ass, and now she's going to see him and talk to him tomorrow. Phew. I don't think he should go into a third weekend visit with us without an opportunity to share any anxieties he has about us or about the process.

And the DCFS adoption caseworker is great - she's just really stretched. She's pulling medical and educational histories and setting up a time to share more information based on those reports with us next week.

Meanwhile, we're taking T. to the beach on Saturday, if all goes according to plan. Upon reflection, we realized that we overwhelmed him a bit last week with lunch at the local farmer's market - it was too crowded and noisy and he had to sit with his back to a busy walkway. By contrast, he was obviously very happy on a bicycle, following us down the street. So we're going to go for a long bike ride at the beach on Saturday, then eat a quiet picnic lunch on the beach. And then we'll let him hang at our house for awhile before taking him home.

I did all this reading about attachment disorders when I was getting ready for this process, and then got to know T. and realized that attachment doesn't seem to be his issue - the writing about trauma seems to hit closer to home. I found this awesome blog by a mom who has adopted two older kids out of foster care and she's got a great sense of humor too. It's nice to have a peek into the world of someone else who is several steps ahead of us. And I love that her kids are named "Bear" and "Kitty"!


marythemom said...

Thanks for the compliments and comment on my blog! I've enjoyed reading your blog (yes, I went back and read the whole thing). I would love to talk to you a little more about attachment disorder. T sounds a lot like my Bear at the beginning. I definitely do not want to scare you off of adoption, just give you more tools for your toolbox. Feel free to e-mail me at m brush @ austin. rr. com (remove all spaces). Hope I hear from you soon!


Lulu McCabe said...

Hi Marythemom! I just came across your comment and I'd love to get your advice about attachment disorder. I'll email you separately. Thanks!

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