Friday, December 19, 2014

Foster Parenting

Sometimes things can really move fast. We applied to be foster parents and just a few weeks later our first little boy arrived. We had a series of boys, all in good shape and placed for adoption in just a few weeks. Our first girl was different, she was not wanted by her foster parents, they said she had "problems." She banged her head against the bed constantly. Funny, if you picker her up for a bit, then put her down and rubbed her head a little she was fine. Such a cutie, but so many problems. A product of rape, grand father was her father. She had asthma, eczema, allergies, abducted hips. The latter required she wear a pillow split between her legs which in about a year fixed that . But we made several trips to the er when she was gasping for air because of the asthma. She did outgrow that too. In the mean time, the car from the agency would pull up out front every few weeks and bring us more babies. I remember a day my daughter and I were shopping, daughter was maybe 10 years old by then. We each had a baby, and 2 elderly ladies came up to look, asking how old they were, I told them mine was 6 weeks old, they looked at my daughters bundle expecting a doll but it was a real baby, they asked if we had twins, I said no, that one was 3 months old, they stared at each other and you could hear the wheels turning, both my daughter and I kept a straight face til we got to the car then we collapsed in laughter. How funny. It was an adventure we loved. We lost one baby to SCD, and had one that was deaf and others with problems. Most of the moms were about 12 or 13 so we watched carefully for health concerns before the babies were placed. We carried this venture on through several states, mostly Illinois and Texas. When the baby girl who was ill was about a year old, we got orders to move to Texas. We had had her about a year, and totally loved her and knew she would not be adopted. Asked if she could go with us but were told no, unless we adopted her. After seeing the new foster parents who had a son that like to drown their pets, we decided to adopt so started proceedings in Illinois that ended in Laredo TX. The Air Force kept us moving around, we went from the extreme heat of south TX to Grand Forks ND, on the Canadian border, about as cold as the North Pole, snow that took til June to melt and never very warm. About then our little girl started bruising badly, the docs were alarmed and sent she and I off to CO to a big Army hospital. She was diagnosed with aplastic anemia, the inability of her bone marrow to make red blood cells. Because medical care was not possible in ND, we got transferred to Chanute in Illinois, where we were close to Chicago and a big Children's hospital. We had a five year adventure, moving to the country and growing our own foods, had chickens, horses etc and raised what we ate, drove a pony cart to deliver papers and get grain from the elevator in our little town called Clarence. We learned where to go to pick fruit that no one wanted, it just fell off and rotted on the ground. Ground our own flour, made everything from scratch, no sugar. Kids were never sick, the absence of sugar is a sure way to stay well. But five years down the line, Karen needed more and more transfusions and we lost her when she was 10 years old. Guess we always thought she had a chance, so it was a shock. By then the fostering had stopped as she needed all our attention. And all our own kids were now in high school, graduating, heading off to college or the service or to work, so the nest emptied out rapidly. Life can change at the drop of a hat, but those were rewarding fruitful years that God had a hand in. Karen required many transfusions, which made me realize the worth of blood donors, and the service they provide their community. I ended up divorcing my husband about then and moving in a different direction altogether. Sometimes all the pressures of life seem to mess up m head and I get lost in the aftermath. But I have never regretted a moment of my life, I have so much to be grateful for.

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