July 20, 2010

What to do.

  Well, ever since Sunday the boys have been back to the normal routine – I wouldn’t say it’s a particularly good week, but no sign of what went on Saturday.

  Right now my theory is that visits in general bring them anxiety – visits with mom, visits with dad, visits with siblings – this is evident in their behavior prior to visits.  I think that maybe having two visits with their siblings on back to back weekends was too much, causing our little rendezvous with the men in uniform.


  I feel so sorry that this is the direction things have taken.  It will make it much more difficult for them to find a home that can take all four of the kids.  However, it only serves as confirmation for us that it is not a good idea for us to do just that.

  It also lends itself to lots of head scratching by all those involved in the case.  What triggered it?  What services are appropriate to help alleviate the behaviors?  What do the boys need to get through this without being violent?  How can we as foster parents best be supported in order to avoid any kind of disruption?  On and on…

  Of course, when anything of this nature happens with kids in foster care, there is always the question of medication.  It has been brought up.

  I strongly feel that the boys are not in need of medication to alleviate behaviors.  Medication doesn’t fix what is going on in their hearts.  I often bristle at the thought of medicating children in any instance – children in foster care are so over medicated.  But I sincerely believe that it is not needed here.

  The boys are mad.  I mean severely pissed off.

And….I would be to.  I think that their anger is fully justified given their circumstance.  I think it is a fair reaction.  In fact, I’d be a little worried if they weren’t just a little peeved.  I’d be really worried if they were going through all of this with a Pollyanna attitude.  I’d say that anger is a pretty normal reaction here.  I don’t want to medicate them because they are feeling the way they should.

  What they need is to learn how to express their anger.  It is ok to be angry.  It is not ok to push Brian down the stairs.  I imagine if I were in their shoes.  I’ve just had my life ripped out from under me.  I’ve lost everything.  It is not my fault, but I have no control over it.  I’d be ticked off.  And if I had never had anyone show me what it looks like to appropriately display my anger?  I’d probably throw things.  I’d probably hit and kick.  I’d probably threaten people I love.  I’d probably run away.  I’d be mad in a way I couldn’t express.


  Medication would probably stop the behaviors, but it wouldn’t heal their hearts.  The behaviors are not the core of this problem.  In fact it would probably hinder any progress – it would be like putting a bandaid over a wound that needs stitches.  It doesn’t heal – and in the end may make the scar all that much worse.

  Of course, medication would be much faster than teaching.  Much faster than healing.  I am hoping this doesn’t lead to its use.


  I know there are situations that require medication.  And in those situations, I am so thankful that it is available.  But I really think our boys are trying to express what they don’t understand.  They are showing us their hurt in the only way they know how.  It is going to be a long road for them.  We are just praying that it doesn’t get worse – that it doesn’t get bad enough that we cannot safely keep them here.  Until then, we will tough it out – we will try our best to teach them what the hurt is, and to slowly, gently help them to heal.


  1. For many reasons, I so hope the boys can stay with you long enough for some healing to take place...I just think they need SO much love and patience right now, and you all are providing that so well. I pray a lot for the home they end up at...that it demonstrates God's love as much as you have to them.

  2. Thanks for this Maggie. You make a good argument for not medicating. Simeon is nearing the age that he can have his first psychological and I'm quite certain the discussion about medication will begin. Now I have some good ideas with which I can build my argument against them.

  3. Wise words. While teaching special ed I worked with a lot of kids who were on some kind of medication (sometimes many kinds). Some complained about the way it made them feel. Others were glad that they had more control over their behavior thanks to the meds.

    I am so glad you have confirmation that taking all 4 kids at once is not the right choice. Sorry that confirmation came in the form of thrown toys and Brian being pushed around. Thank God you married a patient man.

  4. I'm all for medications IF NEEDED. But also see way too many kids on meds when they really shouldn't be. Often the system (any system, school, etc) trying to find an easy way out. We tried some with one of my sons, and while it got some of the desired results, we had side effects that I had no interest in seeing...

  5. this is the part that makes it SO hard.

    i am very anti medicine, but is they truly NEED it they need it. in your case i would say they don't but that is just the anti medicine girl giving you her two cents :)

  6. I have a question, and seriously I mean it with all due respect b/c I know how hard it is and don't want to make it harder. But why isn't it good to use medication that will help them control their behaviors and stay in your home or another loving home? Isn't it better than being moved around? Before my foster daughter came to me she was bounced from home to home who were unable to handle her behaviors, no one is super human and able to deal with it, and now with meds she can at least stay in one place. Just want to gently encourage you not to deny this help in self control they may need through a really tough time.


Thanks for commenting!!


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