I was going to put a subject line over this thing, but every time I try that, I end up going off topic before the end, so I figured why bother? Besides, I like to ramble. So here goes!!
had a post several days back about another abuse of child protective services. I was going to comment on this, but I was afraid that I would eat up the Emperor's bandwidth, and you don't want to piss off the Emperor. So I figured I'd talk about it a little over here in my little corner of the kingdom.
The Better Half and I have been foster parents for over twelve years now. In that time we have taken over 60 children into our home (no, not all at once). Most if not all have been abused in some way, either physically, mentally, sexually or all of the above. Yes, we get paid to take care of these children. As a matter of fact, the more horribly a child has been abused, the more we get paid to take that child. The Better Half and I figured it out once; at the rate for the most abused of the children we look after, divided by 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 30 days a month, it comes out to about $.25 an hour. If you're looking for a way to make quick money, this ain't it.
We have also adopted three children over the past twelve years, and they are now 12, 11 and 5 years old. The problem we've had is that we would have liked to adopt more, but the ones we'd have liked to adopt end up going back to family members, not always the parents. In NC, the emphasis is on trying to reunite the family, always keeping in mind, of course, the best interests of the child. What this boils down to, in my humble opinion, is that unless the child's parents are serial killer, drug dealing, cannibalistic terrorists, the child will go back to his/her parents eventually. The state practically bends over backwards and kisses its own ass in order not to violate the parents' civil rights. Meanwhile, we as foster parents have practically no input as to the child's welfare.
There are perks to this job -- like being told that a baby will never walk, talk or be able to feed himself, then when that child leaves your home three years later he's walking, talking and eating like a little horse -- that make it worthwhile. Sure, you take these children into your home with full knowledge that they're leaving, and you try not to get attached, but nine-tenths of the time you end up loving the little guy/gal as much as if he/she were your own. Then when they leave, it's like having your guts ripped out. The only thing that keeps me going is knowing that once a child leaves, there is another one in the wings that needs us as badly if not more than the child that just left.
Just wanted the two people who actually read this thing to know that all foster parents are not money grubbing jerks who take in kids just for the payment. If that was all there was to it, I'd get a part time job at Wal-Mart and make a helluva lot more money.