one extreme to the other.....

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Star*, Mar 3, 2008.

  1. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Hi all -

    I'm just popping in to report that Dude has moved in with his TFF (therapeutic foster family). As of Sunday morning - we are done for a little while taking him back and forth to school, back and forth to therapy, and back and forth to job interviews and eventually/hopefully work.

    So he is no longer in that awful group home - but get this. Friday night - he went with the older brother to see a movie. Then saturday early they got up and went to the flea market, and the mall. While at the mall - they bought him a 38" flat screen TV for his room, a PS2 and games, and brand new clothes that I couldn't even dream of affording. All that - and dropped him off for our last family session with therapist - and then offered to pick him up at midnight after Foster Dad was done working!!! But instead difficult child informs me that HE wants to get HOME to set up his TV and his PS2 - put his new clothes up. ??????? Home - insert quivering lip. ????HOME??? No-that's not....well it's.......Oh okay - home. (drat)

    On one hand I'm happy that Dude has found a place that is actually/maybe going to spend some of the money they get on him - they also bought dozens of oranges because they heard me tell them loads of Vit. C helps with aggression. I mean like 6 doz.!!! And i did get invited in to meet the TFMom...and she's nice - she is really nice. He's nice-she's nice.....and now I'm jealous. LOL. I mean COME ON - 38" flat screen? And next weekend after they tear the floor out of Dudes bathroom and replace it - He has his own bath - they are replacing the floor in his room and new paint etc. he's psyched.

    The only bad thing.....sigh-----he has court for that other charge he got while in the group home (SOME SUPERVISION HUH?) and may...'may' end up with a longer 6 year sentence since he's on probation and they consider this new charge a violation....actually any charge is a vop. GULP - so after doing well in school, (getting all 100% on GED reviews), looking everywhere everyday for a job, actively going to church, working his keister off in our yard and despite a few 'setbacks' he may end up in jail. I'm just sick.
    Court is next Monday....he is supposed to speak to the solicitor and at that time the solicitor can /will either say - you know what I don't care what you have to say get an atty. or he may say - I you had no supervision at this group home? And you were out late? And although no one saw you at this place.....someone says 2 weeks later there are scratches on the door so our police arrest YOU (not the other kid who falsified a statement to get Pre trial intervention) for attempted burglary? Okay you can go.

    We're praying for the latter - hoping this man will show SOME leniency and any suggestions at this point are welcome. I have no experience with lawyers and if you have any insight here - we'd appreciate it.

    I'll be so glad when he's done with this all......really - I'm moving. He's got a nice home -he'll be 18 in 4 months - and I'm outta here. lol.

  2. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Okay----a flat screen, a PS2, and new clothes. New floor and paint???? Do I have my priorities messed up? Is this where I went wrong????? You could have provided those things too if you weren't paying fines and fixing and replacing all the things he has broken, lost, stolen over the years!

    Well, I'm glad their nice. Let's see how nice they will be when the honeymoon is over! On second thought, I hope it's never over and he stays there, turns 18, goes to college, becomes a solid citizen and then comes "home" and thanks you for all you've done!!
  3. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Well, it is nice that they're trying to make him feel like it is his home. I know that hurts you, Star, but it is what is best for him.

    What I'm afraid of is that he won't be able to follow their rules. I swallowed hard when they said no cursing in their home. I truly doubt he can abide this for any length of time. I hope I'm wrong.

    As to the court issues, I don't know what to say. If the prosecutor and the judge have a heart, they'll see the justice of what you are saying. If they don't, all any of us can do is pray Dude gets a slap on the wrist rather than a long, cruel sentence he truly doesn't deserve at this time. When the time comes, I will light a candle for him.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I've actually been a foster parent, and I wonder if this is their first child. Your son, if he's like most foster kids, will milk them for all he can and they're going to get tired of it. We were overly generous at first, but never THAT generous. I don't see their behavior as being helpful OR therapeutic. How is giving him tons of material goods helping him???? Have they had any significant training? If they are like most therapeutic foster home, the answer is a big fat "No."
    I would be ******. JMO
  5. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Wo- Uh 2

    MB - a big big candle - not one of those little ones.

    MWM - believe it or not - they have been doing this for years and years. They have kids that are in their 30's that come back and consider them Mom and Dad. Even as young as 5 and they came highly recommended. It was like the lady at the mentor place told us on the QT that we hit the lottery of TFP. I thought - uh yeah whatever - and then I meet them, and they do this - and EVERYONE is confused. (me, DF and you) lol.

    All I know is this is the happiest I've ever seen Dude in a placement =ever. And they are already setting him up with a job (babysitting help) for 2 little girls that are there in the daytime and Dude is GREAT with little kids. For all his other misgivings - he is phenomenal with children. And they said they will help him with a budget too. And eventually get a car - a nice good solid dependable in law owns a tow/recovery shop.

    I'm just blown away. You know what I'm thinking but I dare not say it out loud.
  6. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Maybe just maybe, star. Everything's crossed, and will continue to be.
  7. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    So you've had all of these things (flat screen, ps2, etc) substantiated and they aren't just being told to you by Dude?

    Star, it broke my heart when Rob seemed happier living away from us. It's only been in retrospect, and a lot of years inbetween, that Rob has shown any appreciation or regret.

    He still equates love with "gifts" and I don't think that will ever change. sigh.

    It's easy to forget how young they are and how much LIFE they have ahead of them. The best advice I can give is to try to enjoy this respite, heal thyself, and hope for the best.

  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    It sounds like the fps are good ones, and that they care. That's good. As for the "Home" reference.....Well, I can only tell you that for kids his age it isn't uncommon for them to refer to whereever they're staying as "Home". But they don't mean it in quite the same context.

    I hope Dude does well there. And will keep praying that jail isn't in his future.

  9. Coookie

    Coookie Active Member

    "Well, I can only tell you that for kids his age it isn't uncommon for them to refer to whereever they're staying as "Home". "

    Star, I so agree with Lisa on this. When difficult child was in Arizona even a motel was "Home". :(

    These people sound like really good people and one thing you said caught my eye... "On one hand I'm happy that Dude has found a place that is actually/maybe going to spend some of the money they get on him -" I would look at this as finally, after all this time, :) While I probably wouldn't do the TV thing at least it isn't drugs. :(

    We, as mom's, are very sensitive when it comes to our difficult children "liking" anyplace but our home better... it hurts our hearts and sends us down the road of "What did I do wrong".... if we let it.

    Your priorities with Dude were different, they couldn't have been anything else... you are his mom therefore you have been dealing with much more, longer and harder than his TFP's.

    I am lighting VERY BIG CANDLES and saying many prayers that all will work out for the very best, leniency with the courts, Dude moving in the right direction and peace for your mother's heart.

  10. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Maybe we can just stick a wick in the tar pits in CA and light er up?

    -Jesus take the wheel.....
  11. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Star, I agree with the others on the use of the word "home". If he is going to be living there it makes sense to say "my house" or "home" rather than Mr. & Mrs. Smiths house or Jim and Sue's house. For now,
    it will be "home". Now...get prepared...Jim and Sue "may" be called
    "Mom and Dad" much sooner rather than later. Kids do that. Kids who
    have had multiple placements are very very apt to use those words.

    If during his stay there he can feel safe and bonded then the vocab is not
    important. He knows. You know.

    I am truly remembering you all in my thoughts and prayers. DDD
  12. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    You didn't answer my question, Star. Do you know this is a fact and not fantasy?

    As for "home"----our kids have a very shallow definition of home. It's not how we define it... by our hearts.... to them, it's where they hang their hat. sigh.

  13. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Suz - Okay - I saw the clothes, I saw the box for the TV when he was showing it to some people, I did not see the PS2 - but have no reason to doubt it.

    D3 - MOM??? DAD????? OMG - So how, Oh blargh....I keep telling myself that the important thing is he is in a nice placement with nice people and to be thankful for them and like was said to me earlier - dont let myself go down that road. So what would that be like the final let go - the final slap to mother hood? I need to chew on that for a while but thanks for the heads up.

    I just figured if nothing else- I could at least always be Mom the only Mom. Maybe my book would be called - A child to share with the world.

    Thanks all -
  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    In all Corys placements no one ever got him to call them Mom and Dad. One place suggested it...and some of the kids in state custody called them that...but Cory refused. I think he called them something like Mr. Jim and Miss Sue. It never caused a big problem.

    Now home is wherever they are sleeping for the night! Even the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and wilderness camp were HOME to him for that period of time. I even referred to them that way after awhile. Everyone seems to know which is home and which is really home.

    Oddly it bothered me the most when Jamie...all grown up...told us as he was getting ready to leave a visit here that it was time to go home! I felt a catch in my heart because that was the minute that I realized he truly was grown and gone.
  15. Star*

    Star* call 911

    I guess that's the same thing that got me too -

    But someone told me this - don't you wonder what he will say to the TFP when he wants a home visit - don't you think he'll them them "I'd like to go home for a visit?" - no one there would get upset - and they are dealing with him on a daily basis with little thanks - money yes so it all works out I guess.

    Home is home and other home is home - but home is home. Got it.
  16. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Another finger shaking at Star...

  17. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Hey star, I'll go with you to stick a candle in the tar pit!!! Anything to help our Dude!!

    Ya know, I can remember the visits we made to stay with my Grandma in Ohio after we moved out here. The first Christmas my dad made the comment that he needed to get home a day or 2 before school started so he would be ready to go back (my dad was a jr high teacher - and we thought being a MOM was thankless - try never getting out of 7th or 8th grade!!!!!).

    My Grandma walked past me to "go get something" and was crying - I almost never ever saw her cry. Until we moved, the farthest her kids lived was my aunt 45 mins away! My dad called our house "home" and it broke her up - she hid it because she felt that as soon as the kids got married they had a "home" of their own.

    To this day I get choked up when I remember that. And I know how it hurt when my son called my parents' house his home - for the safety and best future for ALL of my kids, but it still hurt.

    Even if they are "mom" YOU will still be the STAR MOM!! The others are just little birthday candle light moms, if they are mom at all. If it will really bug you, talk to your therapist, then talk to Dude. Say another title would make you feel less stepped on, or slapped, or forgotten. Dude really does care about you, and he KNOWS you care about him.

    by the way, sending you a PM.

  18. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Abbey - I don't get it - why are I yelled at? lol - I mean

    I needed a big HUGE candle - so I thought I'd stick a wick in the tar pits in California - figured it would be a light you could see from space, and Jesus take the wheel - (song lyrics) when life is so far out of control - maybe someone else should drive.

    I would never intentionally burn up a fossil - really!
  19. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Hey...did I use capital letters? I'm not yelling. ;)

    Now I will be very qiet.

  20. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I am trying to catch up with everyone today, so forgive me for not knowing the latest with Dude. But I did want you to know I am praying and sending positive juju Dude's way for this latest endeavor. I know you and him have been on a merry go round for years with services, and "help" - it is hard to get excited over anything after awhile - or for that matter even sad.

    As far as his next court date - can you take the evidence you have about his group home being SO horrible, and show it to the judge? Letting him know that there was absolutely NO supervision going on, in fact abuse, and because the State did not live up to their end of the deal - you feel it imperative the Dude receive the lightest sentence possible? Just a thought.

    As far as all of the toys and "stuff" given to Dude by these is an interesting philosophy. I have actually done this with my house and difficult child. He is notorious for breaking stuff around the house, throwing things, etc. Outside of really thinking about him and his drama, I remodeled the kitchen (the other kitchen was OK, but old, so we got all new appliances, tile, counters, etc). It completely changed difficult child and his outlook on "trashing" things when he got angry. Suddenly there was a pride in "his home" - and he did not want to ruin something he felt proud of. I just did the same thing in painting the whole house, and getting new trim, etc - and suddenly he is very careful about everything. I never said anything about it. In fact it was not even my plan to alter his behavior with new things - I just needed/wanted it - and somewhere it was implied I knew he would not trash our precious, hard worked for new things. In retrospect, it is pretty amazing. Most would not have taken the chance - but somewhere I trusted him - and he lived up to that.

    All of that to say - perhaps the fparents are trying the philosophy of trust and pride. We are entrusting you with "all of this stuff", because we believe in you, and believe you are here to stay. It will be interesting to see what dude does with this complete 180 approach from his past group homes.

    However you cannot in any way believe that dude thinks this will replace you. He knows who is mom is. He knows and loves her...........this is all just a temporary place in his life journey - but you will always hold a permanent place in his heart. He loves YOU...........and though these people are blowing him away right now with their unheard of changes nothing about how he really feels about you.

    Many hugs............and keep fighting the good fight! :star: