Friday, August 5, 2011

Why Classes, you already have kids!

In response to us taking classes a dear friend of ours asked if we would be teaching them.  Her point was that we have already proven ourselves to be be good parents, but the classes were not "parenting" classes by any means.  We covered many issues in those 36 hours, issues we never knew about.  For example Connie and I were prepared to adopt a child, or sibling group, up to the age of 9 and agreed that we would not adopt any child older than our oldest, who is  9 years old.  After one particular class that focused attention on RAD, Reactive Attachment Disorder and it is something fierce!  At this time we do not feel like having a child with RAD is the best option because we have our own children still at home.  These kids lack the ability to attach and oftentimes have no empathy at all.  Children with RAD need love, lots of love and lots of patience AND an experienced therapist.  There may come a day when we will adopt or foster a child with RAD.   Along with that same class we learned about different ages and how they cope with life as an orphan.  It became clear to us that birth through five would be the best fit for our family at this time.  The classes really challenge you to open up to your own assumptions and ask very hard questions.

Another thing we learned was that going through the state/county system meant we would have to foster, something we did not want to do.  We wanted to adopt, not foster, but it doesn't work that way.  If there is a child that has been in state custody for a long time, but the parent's still have rights, the child will be placed in foster homes until either the family is reunited or the parental rights are terminated.  During the fostering time the child may have been with the same family for the duration.  The court has the hearing, terminates the parental rights and who do you think the county looks at first for a permanent placement?  The foster family and normally they adopt.  We have decided to foster because that is pretty much the only way to adopt. We are hopeful that the children placed with us will have a loving, memorable time with our family.

There are three parties involved:  the parents, the state and the foster family.  The main goal of the state is always reunification of the family.  It might be that mom is in jail, dad is dead and once the jail term is up the child is reunited.  Sometimes the parents are drug addicts and need rehab, or maybe the parents abuse their children, but whatever the case may be reunification is always the goal.
During our classes we had to look at every side of the process and try as best we could to identify with the parents and the state.  We had to learn about the motives behind the parent's actions, the reasoning of the state and the plight of the children.

I have hit backspace WAY TOO MANY times during this post.  I think I type better in the morning, so I'm done.


  1. Anonymous10:41 PM

    That's THE biggest issue I've always had with the system -- the fact that "reunification" is always the end goal. It seems to me that the "rights" of the parents are always put before the rights and health (physical and emotional) of the child. I know that the system was developed to help children, and it's a geniunely good endeavor, but it's flawed.


Keep it classy . . .