Episode 93 – Will Your Daughters Be Safe?

T & W tackle the issue of keeping our girls safe while bringing older (near teenage) foster sons into our home.  Most of the episode is devoted to how everyone is doing with the new transition into a family of 6.

Here is the Christmas card that we mention made by “Luke”.

10 thoughts on “Episode 93 – Will Your Daughters Be Safe?

  1. Tim and Wendy,

    Thank you both so much for uploading this episode from bed!! I could hear the fatigue in your voices, so I really appreciate that you took the time to update us on how you are doing! Just before the new year, I finished listening to all the episodes so I was very eager for a new one!

    You talked about the county facility in several episodes. Is this a type of orphanage? Do children stay in these facilities for a long time or short term?

  2. First off, I applaud you two for being so open to this amazing task. Truly, there is none like it!!! We took a sweet 8 yr. old boy into our family and really believed if we just covered him in love, affection and acceptance every single day he would be ok and realize he was safe and secure…..but when they get to the older years the hurt runs deeper than we can even imagine.

    You stated that your daughter was having more problems since the placement with the boys. One thing a caseworker/friend of mine shared with me years ago that made TOTAL sense is she tries VERY hard to never place older children in a home that are older than the oldest kids already in that home…..does that make sense? I know that is HARD to do once kids get to a certain age but it messes up the line up of authority that kids have already set and that is huge. If I am guessing correctly your daughter (Linda…is that what you called her?) was the oldest and kinda ran the show as far as siblings go. Now the older boys come in which changes her world anyhow BUT with them being older it REALLY changes things in a dramatic way. My caseworker/friend said it’s always best to place kids in foster families where they are the youngest. Kinda makes sense when you think about it.
    Regardless of age placement, what you all are doing is amazing and praying for all of you. There is nothing easy about this job as you know!!!

  3. Hi Traci,

    Thanks so much.

    Linda was and is our youngest so if anything is the same for anyone it’s her. She’s more than happy to let Andrea have the run of the house.

    You make some good points about birth order that we agree with in principle. You can hear us discuss those topics more here. http://fosterpodcast.com/episode-9-when-are-you-going-to-have-your-own-kids/

    The question is, who’s birth order should we be willing to disrupt if we’ve got multiple kids from foster care? Should Nolan’s role as the oldest be taken from him? Who’s reactions will be the strongest, the child with the most recent life chaos or the child who’s been exposed to more stability?

    Our plan was to keep Andrea in place as the oldest child. We probably still think that would have been an ideal situation. But Nolan and Luke didn’t fit our plans at all. Sometimes God throws us a curveball and we’ve got to adjust to the pitch. Hopefully we’ve given Andrea and Linda enough tools to handle the adjustment.

  4. Wow what a wonderful and very emotional episode! Thanks so much for podcasting even though you were tired and at a low moment. And the Christmas card and stocking story truly made me cry.
    So here is my issue and I’d welcome thoughts from you or any listeners. We are awaiting our next foster placmeent (our last foster daughter just got adopted and left our home). Our bio son (age 5) is really really begging for a foster to adopt placement. He doesn’t like being an only child and always begs for a new foster placement as soon as a foster child leaves our home. He says that letting his foster siblings go is “breaking his brain” and says “Mom I’m losing my power, like when your phone needs to be charged”. Ok I don’t think a 5 year old could say it any clearer than that- it is hurting him to lose these kids.
    But we- my husband and I – had always said we planned to be a foster family only. We felt over the long term we could do more good for more kids that way, and we saw ourselves not adopting. (If we adopted we would close our foster license or only do short term respite care.) Now we are considering a fost adopt placement. So- some questions: How much should you listen to your kid about family decisions? How do I make the possible mental leap from a 3 person family to a 4 person family? Any good book recommendations for us? (Adoption is not the same as fostering,,, we are very attached to all our foster kids and it hurts when they leave, but we always knew they would leave….) And how to you deal with the Tommy/Molly situation? I mean we could tell our 5 year old that we’d like to adopt our next kid placed with us, but that isn’t our decision to make. The child could reunify. Would that hurt our bio son even more?? So so complicated! I welcome any ideas or thoughts…
    thanks, Kim

  5. Thanks for giving an update on life, even when you were clearly tired… and only 2 weeks into the new placement. It’s a crazy, messy system and as you said, you can’t always plan for the curveballs that might come your way. You guys are doing great. Thank you for continuing to be an example to the rest of us!

    Shannon R. in Indiana <

  6. I will be holding your family in the light (Quaker for praying for you) in this new chapter in your lives. Bless all of you. (I reckon God knows the real names of the children. ;) )

  7. Hi,

    I hope this won’t be seen as spammy, but I’d like to encourage people to email in to Stuff You Should Know (stuffpodcast@howstuffworks.com) and ask them to do a podcast on foster care for National Foster Care Month in May. The more people who request it, the more likely they’ll do it and it would be a great way to educate a lot of people about the system, its needs, and ways to help.

    Thanks!

  8. I can’t add much more to what has already been said so I’ll bulletize!
    1) Thanks for another great episode!
    2) You have inspired me in more than one way, including but not limited to the purchase of Punky on DVD – love it! Hope whatever kiddos I get will too.
    3) In terms of helping, my agency is trying to find another word for “respite” care because like me, there are many pre-adoptive families who would just love to help a foster family out for free. Unfortunately “respite” implies having a budget, going through lots of paperwork, etc. and many social workers simply don’t have time for all that … so foster families sometimes suffer. I hope it works out. I’d offer to help you guys but I’m in Virginia!
    4) Good luck with the transition! It sounds like you’re doing a fantastic job.
    – Anne

  9. interesting that you mention that you weren’t sure the statistic…

    this just came up in our MAPP class last week.

    they said while the majority are NOT taken for sexual abuse (as you said) the rough % of kids that end up being determined to have been sexually abused is 70%.

    that was the biggest heartbreaker so far… 70%!!!!!!

  10. On the topic of keeping kids safe…How do you physically keep kids safe that may be at risk from other kids in your home. To be blunt, I mean abuse from other kids ie. sexual, physical, emotional. What physical things can you suggest such as alarms to make sure parents don’t have to be awake 24/7 ?

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