Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Adoption Talk Link-Up: Goodbye, Scooter.

I was determined to participate more in the Adoption Talk Link-Ups this year, and have not kept up the way I'd really like to! So this week, I'm making the effort this week to get back on the blogging wagon.

The last couple posts that I've published are, generally, about the struggles we have been having as a family. Truly, becoming a foster family has changed us dramatically, and I'm trying to come to grips with some recent decisions that we've had to make...especially the one where we've decided to close our foster home. I won't belabor the pros and cons of fostering in this post, though, because I feel like I've been doing that a lot lately.

Instead, I thought I might provide an update on Scooter since he is leaving our home on Friday.

Poor Scooter (and his siblings) deserve so  much better than the hand they've been dealt in life. Scooter, when he came to our home, was very withdrawn, frightened, and seriously developmentally delayed. As we uncovered and began to resolve some of his issues, he blossomed. He knows how to play with toys now; he used to simply sit listlessly and only watch our repeated attempts to get him to play. He runs and plays outside now, where he used to simply stand and watch Eli. He can run without falling and is now beginning to use his imagination. His hearing and speech have improved dramatically (though he failed his most recent hearing test, due to little cochlear feedback on one side).  He will have a thorough eye exam next week with a pediatric ophthalmologist to help address his depth perception and sight issues. He is now completely potty trained...a feat that I would not have believed possible just weeks ago.  The behaviors that had us concerned that he might have an attachment issue or issues (potentially) related to FAS have improved (somewhat), though they are still present. He is still behind his age-peers, but he is definitely making major developmental progress. He made enough progress that we did recently try moving him into his age-group class at preschool, but, unfortunately, he was not quite ready and had to be moved back into the younger group (he currently functions at a level about a year younger than his age).

Eli and Scooter hunting Easter eggs
But, though Scooter has made great gains, he is leaving Friday, and he is not going home to his biological family. I've also found out, even though Scooter has been doing so well with us, that visits with his bio family, which aren't happening consistently, haven't been going well at all.  In fact, his caseworker called me last week to tell me that, even though the kids haven't been in foster care long, she anticipates his case proceeding to TPR and adoption. In the same call, I found out that our family would not be considered as an adoptive placement - and Patrick and I are in agreement with DFCS on this. Scooter's placement has been particularly difficult for us (though he is usually an appealing, sweet child), and has been compounded by the fact that DFCS deliberately withheld information and ignored repeated requests for help for Scooter's various needs. It is only due to the fact that we had support from our foster agency and a very knowledgeable pediatrician that we were able to connect with some community resources that have begun to make a huge difference in Scooter's life.

All of the frustration with DFCS aside, I never, ever, ever thought I would be in a position where a foster child of mine would come up for adoption...but I wouldn't get the opportunity to adopt...and that I might not want to adopt. I've been lying awake at night grieving and wondering about Scooter's future and wishing that I could be the one to raise him...but, ultimately, I truly believe that DFCS is right in this case. Knowing a decision is right usually makes it easier, but it doesn't take away all of the hurt. 

The part that makes this easier and better, though, when I look for the good in this change, is that Scooter is going to a GREAT family who is willing to provide either short term or permanent care for Scooter and one of his sisters (they have actually had one of his sisters the entire time we've had Scooter)...and I'm grateful that they will be able to pick up where we are leaving off.

No Bohns About It

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