This blog is my place to vent and share resources with other parents of children of trauma. I try to be open and honest about my feelings in order to help others know they are not alone. Therapeutic parenting of adopted teenagers with RAD and other severe mental illnesses and issues (plus "neurotypical" teens) , is not easy, and there are time when I say what I feel... at the moment. We're all human!

Monday, September 8, 2008

How we found our kids - Part 2

So there we were with our new license. I immediately hit the Tx website, but truthfully, none of the children seemed like a match. The agency called us with potential matches a couple of times, but it was usually groups of 3, ages 1, 3, and 5. Or some similar combination of 2 children not old enough to go to school yet. At the time I had been working for a very expensive private preschool for over 3 years, and as such got one free tuition (assuming there was a space), but tuition was around $800-900 a month. There was no way we could afford to have 2 children in the school, and with my crazy, constantly rotating schedule (6:30am to 4:30pm one week, the next 8:30am to 6:30pm, and the third, 9:30am to 8pm and then it started over again) - there was no other childcare center we could use. We couldn't afford for me to quit my job, as Hubby had only been working for a few months at that point and we needed my income.

I started looking at other websites including individual state listings,, CAP (Children Awaiting Parents), etc. Nebraska's website was especially interesting to me because Hubby's family is from there so we would be able to visit often. I also looked at Colorado where my dad lives. The NE site was set up very strangely. It listed kids by their first name, divided only by whether or not they were boys or girls. You had to click on a name to find out how old the child was and whether or not they were part of a sibling group. When I clicked on Bear's name I saw a picture of him and his sister. I remember thinking the girl would be about the right age, but the boy was obviously the same age as our nephew (16 at the time). I found them interesting, but they were not the right ages.

I kept looking. Then Kitty and Bear showed up on And it said that Bear was 12 years old! This site was notorious for getting genders mixed up, so I wrote to them and told them, "Hey, you've obviously made a mistake with this kids age!" They wrote back and said, nope, he turns 13 later this month that's why it says he's only 12. When I was printing off profiles we were interested in, I printed off this one too, more to show the caseworker what a big mistake had been made!

Our agency went through multiple staff changes. We were told to we could request up to 6 sibling groups for homestudies to be sent out on (sending out a homestudy is like sending a resume for a job you're interested in). I brought in my whole stack in order from the ones we were most interested in, to ones I had question on, and of course, at the bottom of the stack, Kitty and Bear. Yet another staff change, and they said, hey just give them all to us and we'll send out homestudies on all of them. You guessed it, Kitty and Bear included.

This was definitely God's plan for us. There were too many coincidences - D and Z available until the last second, putting Kitty and Bear's information in the stack when they were so obviously wrong for us...

Long story short, (OK, I know it's too late for that!) after realizing that Kitty and Bear were included in the stack, I sent an e-mail to their worker, giving her a few more reasons why we might be good choices (Hubby's Native American background - like Kitty and Bear, and how we visit family in Nebraska at least once a year). You guessed it, they were the only siblings we were matched with! Most of the others didn't even bother to respond. We were second choice for Kitty and Bear.

The first family decided that Kitty and Bear weren't a good match, so in August we were contacted and they sent the children's de-identified records (everything the state knows about the history of the child - with all of the identifying info like last names and cities, blacked out. Of course they didn't do a great job, so we knew the kids real last names.) I read the files and started saying, "NO! NO! NO! I don't want these kids anywhere near my biokids!" Their behaviors were pretty scary, and I didn't think I could keep my kids safe.

Hubby surprised me by insisting that we at least talk to the foster parents. He said that the records were like resumes and you can't tell what a person is really like by what was written on paper. I was convinced he was dead wrong, but I agreed to talk to the kids' foster parents (they were living in different foster home). The foster parents said that while the kids weren't perfect they had made almost 180s from the way they were when they entered foster care. I was worried that my VERY bright Bob and Kitty were in the same grade. Foster Mom assured me that Kitty could care less about school and wouldn't be bothered by a younger sibling doing better than she was.

We decided to meet them, and on Labor Day weekend we drove to Nebraska, met up with my MIL and nephew (who were supposed to watch Bob and Ponito while we got to know the new kids - not that it worked out that way!). The girls bonded and were instant best friends. My nephew and Bear hit it off. Because Bob and Ponito called me Mom, Kitty did too (I thought that was a good sign then! I knew very little about attachment disorders!) We were an instant big happy family.

The beginning of this story:
How We Found Our Kids
Part 3: Getting Our Kids Home

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