Friday, August 5, 2011

Foster Memories Friday - James

A couple months after Ronnie & DeeDee left, we got a call for a 3 (almost 4) year old caucasian boy.  We hesitated at first because he was closer to Brooke's age (5) but decided that it would be nice for her to have someone to play with.  Since I had taken a job (first one in 7 yrs.) as a para at a local school, James went to daycare during the day while Brooke and I were at school and Mike was at work.

Right away we noticed something was not right with James.  He never played with Brooke, he showed absolutely no emotion at all, he was very manipulative (especially about food), always wanted to be in control, broke things, stole, lied constantly and he never wanted to be touched or have help with anything.  Both his daycare provider and our family were having a very hard time so I began doing research trying to figure at what could be causing James to act the way he did.  We asked for help from our foster worker and finally got James evaluated and he was diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Severely Emotionally Disturbed.

Parenting James turned out to be one of the hardest things I have ever done.  We discovered that children with the type of disorders he had must be parented completely different and people judge (even family) you because they don't understand.  I questioned myself daily.  I still thought love could conquer all and when love didn't help James I felt I had failed. 

During this time we had gotten a call for and accepted our next placement, a newborn.  James seemed to just totally ignore the new baby until one day I picked them both up from daycare. The daycare provider told me that she had gone in the kitchen for a moment and the baby (that was in a swing) began to scream, as she turned the corner to check on him she noticed that James was pulling the baby's leg and would not let go.  Neither she nor I could get James to tell us why he had done what he had done and he showed no remorse for doing it.

We asked for James to be removed from our home.  We felt he needed someone more experienced in parenting a child with his disorders and we were scared for the safety of the other kids in our home.  James left our home after four months.  I felt guilty for having him moved but after he left I discovered that parenting him had taken a huge toll on me (emotionally and mentally) and our family as a whole, we did what was best for our family.  James would now be 13 1/2.


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