Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Foster Parenting

Foster Parenting:
As I've mentioned before, in the late 80's and early 90's my ex-husband and I (and we remain on good were foster parents for 13 years. We were privileged to have 69 children share our home with us. Most of them were teenagers as the agency has a hard time placing older kids. With teenagers from a dysfunctional home, it's like rolling the dice. You never know what you're going to get. But honestly, of those 69 kids, there were only 5 that we had any problems with. The rest were like adding spice to our family. So many different personalities, so many laughs, a few tears, but overall a very rewarding experience. And 4 of those kids became permanent members of our family because of fact that they had no where else to go.

We had 4 children of our own and when it became known that those 4 would be with us for the long-term, the agency made us a group home so we could still continue to help them out.   And that's why some of the recipes I've posted here are for 8-10 kids and 2 adults.  I had to learn to cook for a team.
Boyd came to us when he was 16 and is now in his 40's.  I'm still Mom to him and I like that.  He's married with 2 adult sons, Devin and Tyler.  And they have both made me a "foster great-grandma".  Devin has a brand new son, Deacon, and Tyler has two sons, Cooper and Jaxin.  They are all 3 beautiful and wonderful boys and are being raised in loving homes.  We had a bump in the road (more than a bump, actually) a while back though with Cooper.  He had to undergo surgery for a brain tumor.  (Much more than a bump.) But this amazing little boy is bouncing back and things are going extremely well for him.

Jacques and his brother, Derrick, both in their 40's now, were our first 2 foster sons, and came to us at the ages of 8 and 10.  Both are grown with wonderful families.  Jacques' 4 kids Kenzie, Trenton, Peyton and Quinten, live out of state with their mother but we got to see the 3 boys last summer and hopefully we'll get to see all 4 of them this coming summer.  And Derrick is a college professor and lives with his wife and 3 children, Gregory, Teresa and Andrea in New Orleans so we only see them once a year too.

And Eric, sweet Eric, was 2 years old when he first came into our family but was back and forth with his mother until we adopted him at the age of 4.  But tragedy followed Eric, and his mother (and 5 siblings born after he was taken from her) died in a fire when he was only 12.  Eric had suffered what authorities said was an attachment disorder and he was unable to bond with us.  When his mother died, he suffered survivors guilt as well and wanted nothing to do with me, his second mother.  When he turned 18 he left us and moved to Arizona and I have not seen him since.  I miss him.

Fostering for us brought us such joy and so much fun that I encourage you, if you've had thoughts of fostering, to give it a try.  I think you and your family will benefit greatly from the experience as well as helping countless children through times no child should have to go through.  But trust me, the only downfall is that you will learn to love these kids and saying goodbye can be heartbreaking.  But well worth getting to know them.

What I'm Reading Now:
Iron House by John Hart.  I've never read Hart before and on further study, found that this is only his 4th novel.  But I'm sold.  Let me give you the back cover description:

"At the Iron Mountain Home for Boys, Julian survives only because his brother, Michael, is fiercely protective.  When a boy is brutally killed, Michael flees and takes the blame with him.  For two decades, Michael has been an enforcer in New York's world of organized crime.  But the life he's built unravels when he meets Elena.  He wants a fresh start with her.  The mob boss who gave Michael his blessing to begin anew is dying, and his son is intent on making Michael pay for his betrayal.  Michael spirits Elena back to Julian and to the place he's been running from his whole life: Iron House."

Patricia Cornwell says, "If you crave thrillers that are vividly beautiful, graphic, will make you bleed, try John Hart."  I am only about 2/3 of the way through this novel, I am completely immersed in the characters.  Writers that can make their characters stand out in a story like this man does, have the gift of magic.  I will absolutely read his other 3 novels.

A Quickie Recipe:
I have a really quick way to make deviled eggs that are absolutely delicious!  As usual, you boil your eggs and then cut them in half and remove the yolks ( the white remains intact). Smash the yolks in a bowl and simple add Henri's Tasty Salad Dressing until its the desired consistency.  You can find Henri's Tasty in the section with all the other salad dressings.  Then just spoon the mixture back into the eggs.  Mine are requested at every family get-together.

Quotes of the Day:
We love the fact that our house is full. The kids in my house didn't do anything wrong. Their parents did. They're not in foster care because they're juvenile delinquents. They're here because no one cared. ~ Tom Brown

If foster care called them it didn't matter what time of night it was when they got called, they were always willing to take them. ~ Tammy Griffins


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