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We have two new kids, not dollhouse size!


aggiemae
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I have been away awhile. Real life came crashing down all around us and when the dust settled we have two foster kids. Both are boys, one is nine the other is eleven years old. They have come for overnights three times and will be moving in at the end of the week! Right now I am waiting for their wardrobe closets to dry (I stained them today) and there is a bunk bed from Ikea, about 1,000 pieces, spread out all over the living room to be assembled. Bags of bed linen, books and school cloths (I sort of went on a spree) are covering the dining room table.

They are two of nine children- age newborn to 17 years. We hired a carpenter to do some remodeling to add a bathroom and space so I could have a workshop. About 1/2 way through the job both he and his wife where arrested for child abuse/neglect.

The trial is in December, hopefully they will plea bargain and not subject their children to testifying, but these are not normal people so who knows what will happen. It is hard to believe something like this can go on unseen for so many years. We did not know them well but everyone was shocked by the arrests. Not so shocked now that some of the evidence is coming out.

I can't exactly say I am happy about this, the circumstances being so sad, but we are for sure welcoming them with opened arms. My husband is practically handing out cigars! It is going to be a long road, lots of counseling and medical appointments, neither boy can read or write at all. I am glad that the parents where found out so at least they will have a chance at a normal life. I will post more on Wednesday.

I hope everyone is well and your mini's are going well. I have really missed all of you. Can't wait to have a chance to look at the gallery!

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What a challenge for you! And how wonderful that you are willing and able to do this. I'm guessing all the others have been placed in foster care, too? It has to be so difficult for them.

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Agnes, that is really fantastic! After what those kids have been thru, to be in a loving and caring home will make a tremendous difference in their lives. I worked with abused and neglected kids for a long time and one of the greatest joys in the world is watching how they respond to loving adults who provide them with a normal life. It's a challenge for you and your husband, but oh, such a wonderful thing that you're doing.

Deb

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expression_95.gif

Your family is the best Agnes. I think it is great that you are opening your home to help out these boys. It will be a long road but you will know that you did some real good in their lives!

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My prayers go out to you and your husband, and especially these boys and their family as well. I know that you have a long hard road ahead of you. If you ever need to talk, just pm me. I'm going through a situation myself involving a little boy we have custody of which has been going on a little over a year now.

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It is a wonderful thing you are doing for these kids Agnes, and I wish you all the best and I know these kids really found a haven!

HUGS and thanks for being you!

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Those kids will be so lucky to live with you and have some normansy in their lives. Will they be able to see their siblings? What alot of catching up they will have to do! Can you imagine not being able to read or write!! You will have your plate full for awhile. But I know that these kids will come to love you.

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Good luck to all of you! This is a big step and big responsibilities, but how exciting it must be to take these two boys in and make new lives for them hopefully! Aloong with a much needed education it seems as well! How could an 11 year old not know how to read or write? Shame on the parents...... Aggie, you have a hard row to hoe but I know you can do it! What a wonderful challenge for you!

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Pass our hugs on to the boys. It's so sad when that stuff happens, but you are opening your home and your heart to them. My prayers for you and the children. You have taken on a huge responsibility and please remember to take care of yourself too, you can't take care of them if you don't take care of you. Take about an hour for yourself every once in awhile. You will have to have it. I have two boys myself, both with problems.

My hats off to you and your hubby for giving of yourself and and your home for these children who so desperately need help. Thank you.

Terri

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We had the boys for the weekend, their room is read and we have finished the home study. Meanwhile they have a new caseworker, so we are waiting for the OK to have them full time.

All the kids get together once a week for dinner. They also see each other in small groups. They have so many serious problem and needs not to mention many appointments it would be impossible for them to all be in the same home.

The oldest two can read, the third on is legally blind but was supposed to pray for better eye sight instead of getting glasses. The rest of the kids can't read because they where "home schooled" which seemed to involve lots of going to work with dad, caring for the farm animals, garden and taking care of each other while mom was out of the house. So more "home" than "School".

I want to add that I knew these people for two years and I never suspected anything like what was coming out now.Though it seems that almost everything they ever said was a lie. Maybe no one, including their own children, really knows either of them. I always felt they where controlling, but from their view they where providing a strict religious up bringing. Towards the end, because they where working on my house, I noticed that the mom had lots of spare time for having 8 kids. Apparently the kids were paired up and each older kid took responsibility for a younger one. The kids also did all the house work and cooking. When the baby cane the SEVEN year old daughter was his care taker all "mom" did was nurse.

Now the craziest thing of all neither parent was Jewish, they did not practice Judaism at home, apparently they are second generation members of a fundamentalist Christian cult. Now the five oldest kids do not know anything else so in their own minds they are Jewish, to our congregation they are Jewish children. We also found out that they had their first three kids taken from them 17 years ago. They here raised by relatives. Now these same relatives are saying they did not know what was going on and are asking for custody. They say they will "assimilate" the kids into their "true" religion" They are from a group the condones spanking from age six months and believe that all children over 18 months old should be spanked daily because even if you did not see or hear it, they probably sinned and need punishment to atone. You have to hope that the legal system will not allow this, but mean while we all hold our breath and see what happens. The trial is in December. S o far neither parent has considered plea bargaining to spare their children from going to court. The father is outright insane, the mother is angry at them and about the most self centered person and best liar I have ever know,

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What an incredible story...I am a new member and don't know you from the past but obviously you are a wonderful person! These kids are so fortunate to have you in their lives. I hope the court is able to do something for the rest of them. Warm thoughts are with you!

-Katie

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Some of the most hideous acts of perversion are committed in the name of religion; look at the terrorists throughout the world. I saw a bumpersticker that reads: "Lord, save us from Your followers".

Agnes, you and your husband will be SO blessed by God for taking these children and giving them a normal home life. What a kind and selfless thing to do. Is your son on board with two new "younger brothers"? {{Hugs}} all around.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey everyone!

Help, we are trapped on a bureaucratic treadmill and can't get off!!! We have questions but no one from the state ever returns our calls. The rules are reinvented every half hour and apparently are made to be broken anyway. Everyone wants to be in charge but no one wants to take responsibility!

I wish I could say things where going OK but apparently when a new caseworker gets a case he/she can decide to start all over and change everything...

We still have the kids on weekends-midday Friday until Sunday evening, but the new case worker "decided" that the boys are "fine" where they are and do not need to move!!! We and five other families went through 20 hours of classes, 3 in depth interviews, at least a 1/2 dozen meetings and a home study. Just like for adoption a home study looks at everything anyone in our home has done since the day we where born. It was incredibly invasive. We also had to spend $2,000+ on on things they said had to be done around the house plus furnish the room (we put in new wood flooring, repainted and purchase beds, dressers, mattresses bedding etc.) Not to mention the waste of tax dollars for the cost of classes, social workers and home studies for five families.

After she told me the boys will not be moved, I emailed the case worker, her supervisor and her supervisors supervisor as well. After not returning our e-mails or phone calls for the past ten days suddenly she had plenty of time to reply and apparently I "misunderstood", that no "final" decision had been made and she was waiting to "staff" the case and has assured me that a "final" decision will be made next week! We will see... I also emailed the kid's attorney and their CASA worker, just in case I have to squeak the wheel again next week.

It took her longer to back peddle and write the e-mail to save her butt that it would have taken her to do her job! Apparently this case worker has never been up against a Jewish mother before.

I wish I have more TIME! Judah (11 years old) and I are building a 1:16 scale three mass sail boat! We are going to paint the hull tomorrow. And stain the deck and the various things on it next weekend. The tiny riggings are brutal!

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Thanks for the update, I was wondering how things were going. I can empathise with you, we jumped through all sorts of hoops trying to get suitable psychiatric placement & care for our psychotic bipolar son when he was 12; it took almost a year, his nearly killing someone and a battle royal with the juvenile detention system and more interviews with people trying to figure out how we'd abused him (until very recently, and our son's was one of the case-studies that changed the view, children were unable to have mental illnesses, and if they exhibited symptoms it was because the parents abused them) before we finally got him placed in a safe treatment facility. There were more nightmares I won't go into, but you go ahead, Momma Bear (I'm not Jewish, I just think all of us are capable of waging holy war for the sake of a child!), and keep on fighting for those kids!

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I'm so sorry you're having to deal with this! The human service system...arrrgggh...don't get me started. I've dealt with that for 30 years now, in the work I used to do (I'm now retired). All-too-often the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing, caseworkers "assume" stuff that they shouldn't be "assuming", each seems to work off some private unrelated agenda, somewhere. All you can do is what you're doing -- write EVERYONE (and I'd probably WRITE, not e-mail...emails have a way of getting "lost", or distorted) and copy everyone with everything, and keep at it. Good luck! Sounds like these kids need a strong advocate..or two or three..in their court.

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Jewish mothers and Italian Catholic mothers are alot alike. They would RUE the day they messed with me.. Go Mama Bear Go!!

Holly, a friend of mine is dealing with the bureaucracy trying to get help for her 10 yr old son. He has been classified as mentally incapacitated and is part of the DMR in the state, but they do not think he qualifies for respite care. I will not go into details but it is getting so bad that Mom had to call the cops on her son because of his violence. Still no help. I told her she has to squeak so loud that no amount of oil will quiet her down.

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I think all mommas go into momma bear mode when a child is in need!

you go girl! kids need all the help they can get when parents are not what they should be.

one of my BFF has been fighting our school system,welfair system,ins and her extended family to get the right help for her 16 yr old daughter who has the worst case of adolesent OCD the state of MO has ever delt with...no one in our local area can help her...and yes lots of accusations of abuse were made...especially those few times they have had to restrain her to keep her from trying to hurt herself and/or others. she is finally in a hospital in Wisconsin....but the family now has to make moving plans. she will always need reiforcement once she leves the hospital and in MO there are NO facilities that can help with such things...CBT's???

I know that we have beuracracy for a reason but when hearing about stuff like this...UUUGGG I get so angry.

I hope it all gets worked out so that those kids have a fighting chance to be productive members of society!

good luck and keep up the good work!

nutti :lol:

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I told her she has to squeak so loud that no amount of oil will quiet her down.
You done good, girl! DH & I pitched a royal hissy fit in the custodial hearing we attended to get DS into a treatent program; when we asked the (then) HRS reps why we & he had to wait until he committed an act that would end up putting him in prison, instead of getting him proper treatment in a setting with the level of protection that Protective Services would not permit US to provide, the judge suddenly woke up and grew some balls and ordered HRS to quit picking on us and get our son into treatment.

Give 'em hell, Agnes.

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update:

I am not at all sure what the end result will be but apparently the case worker did not back peddle fast enough because I have been called by the district supervisor as well as the head guy of our state DHS, so apparently I squeaked the wheel enough that they pulled the recording of the call and listened to it. They are now falling all over each other to apologize to me about how I was treated.

This of course might not make any difference about the placement, but we will have to wait and see.

chapter two, how crazy can it get?

The judge ordered that the children be place with Jewish families ASAP. The parents, it turned out where not exactly Jewish, but THAT is another story altogether and all the children have always been told that they are Jewish and do not know anything else. We where asked and as the state says "stepped up". We where moved through the entire process in 6 weeks- this is less time than it usually takes to just get an appointment to start a home study. I was the first one finished but the kids in question have been spending 3 nights a week here since early July. So how it is looking now is that either the agency did not think so many people would come forward and pass all the requirements or there is something going on behind the scenes and we are not being told. I am starting to suspect that the whole thing was a ruse for the media, so DHS could say they where "in the process of finding suitable homes" in court. I am also wondering if the bio family, not Jewish but members of a bazaar Christian cult, is threatening legal action if the kids do go to Jewish homes? Of course no one can come right out a say this with out some kind of major back lash, but still, I do wonder.

BTW, The "church" the bio families belong to advocates spanking infants beginning at about 4 months old to "teach" them to be "obedient". I am dead serious. Both parents were raised and married in this cult, it is no wonder they grew up to be child beaters. Now the bio families are blogging all over that they no longer belong to this "church" and want custody of the kids.

Apparently, the origional church, "founded" in 1942 by an insurance saleman, changed is doctrine in 1993, to avoid loosing non profit status and having to return 40 million dollars it had in the bank to it's members. Over half of the member chose to leave the church so they could continue the "old traditions". Almost all of both bio family left the main church (those now over about 45 years old anyway) and now belongs to one of the "splinter" churches. Some of the are just conservative christians some of them are totally nuts... but how can an outsider really be sure enough to place a child into these homes?

This is sort of sounding like one of those movies you watch on lifetime telivision, when you are up late at night sanding window frames or putting on roof shingles, isn't it?

now back to earth...

There are actually five families doing all the things required to get these children into our homes. There are nine children total. Two are finishing their home studies this week. So imagine my surprise when one of the boys told me That his sib is coming to live in their current foster home with him and his brother! Considering that a family had just built a wall and closed in a door to outside, plus the usual painting, buying of furniture and other things kids need to get their home ready for him!

Five angry Jewish mothers focused on one defenseless agency... it is scary to just think about it!

THANK YOU everyone for all you kind words and encouragement.

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Five angry Jewish mothers focused on one defenseless agency... it is scary to just think about it!
Oh, Agnes, I have the wildest mental picture of the five of you marching on the agency offices! Oh, and possibly grounds for an anti-defamation suit! (I'm slinking away, now...)
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