Thursday, August 20, 2015

We don't all fit in one car anymore

A beautiful 8yo boy joined our family last night. His favorite thing is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and his favorite turtle is Leonardo. So, for the blog, our new cherub is going to be Leo.

Leo is here on "emergency respite". That means that something significant happened and he needed to be moved from his foster family to ours. Emergency respite can "legally" only last for 14 days. But ultimately, we don't know how long Leo will be here.

We cared for Leo for three days back in July when he came for a normal respite placement. He's a neat kid and we had no issues those three days at all. In fact, I assessed him while he was here and had a long talk with his foster family about, what I believed to be, a misdiagnosis and incorrect medication. I had been given a little of his history and I was convinced that Leo did not have ADHD and that the violent rages they had been seeing were as a result of the stimulant medication he was on.

His foster family listened to me. I really liked them. And now, praise God, he's off that med and down to only one mood stabilizer.

However, his foster family made a rather large mistake. They knowingly chose to disregard a rather significant minimum standard. I'm going to be vague. The details really aren't necessary. But it's a rule that is in every county and every state and probably even every country. It does not involve corporal punishment. Leo was not hurt, neglected or abused in any way in his foster home. Still, he and another boy (separate case) were removed last night and whisked away to emergency respite.

Leo does not know why he's here. He's under the impression that he'll be going back to that foster family. He was very, very excited to learn that he was coming back to our house though. I guess he liked it here back in July.

Our licensing agency is trying to salvage things. The plan is to fix the problem in the original foster home and send the two boys back there. However, that may not happen. And if they have to close the original foster home, Leo is going to need a long-term placement. To add to this, Leo's parents have already had their rights terminated. Leo is in need of an adoptive home.

Right now Leo is ONLY here for emergency respite. We might have to make some very important decisions within the next few days though.

His current foster family is only "considering" adopting Leo. They haven't committed to anything and Leo has been there well over six months I believe. I'm not sure how serious they are about wanting to adopt.

For what it's worth, we would "consider" adoption as well. In fact, we wouldn't take him as a long-term placement unless we were going to walk the road of adoption. Just wouldn't be fair to him in my opinion.

I have NO IDEA what is going to happen. This IS the roller coaster of foster care. I'll keep you posted though.  :)


G said...

Your title made me laugh.

What a whirlwind! So glad you're able to be there for Leo, even if it's just temporary. 6 months seems like a long time to still just be "considering" adopting a child that's legally free. I hope Leo can get permanency somewhere soon.

Anonymous said...

Since Leo was on wrong meds and having violent rages it might be harder for the family to have a clear idea of what adoption would be like and to be sure they want to walk that road. So from that perspective they have had less than 6 weeks with the child on correct meds. Maybe that makes their lack of certainty more understandable.
Lots to consider on your end if respite turns into not returning to the other foster home for adoption. Especially with your other two placements and the issues they face and the issues they present for your family. Lots on your plate~ which is also situation normal at your house. Crossing my fingers that the brick and mortar school changes fall into place easily for once. Good wishes to all!

VJ said...

I like that you put "legal" in quotes. So true of foster care, the laws are magically not relevant when it's inconvenient for the county!

And you're right that it's none of our business why he was removed. Glad he was safe at the other house. But I am so curious...what minimum standard could they possibly have disregarded? Did they not give him shoes or something? How do your children get immediately removed without abusing or neglecting them? It's none of my business but I still want to know! :)