Monday, March 9, 2009

"Questions for my Foster Mom"

This is a list of questions that was compiled by "Jessie" a 6 year old that I worked with years ago. She'd had numerous bad experiences in foster care and had spent two years in a group home. We were stepping her down into a transitional foster home so that she could then return to her biological mother. She was incredibly nervous to be going back into foster care. The night before her first meeting with the new foster mom, a staff at the group home asked if she wanted to make a list of things to ask her new foster mom. No suggestions were given, she simply typed everything that Jessie said. If you read between some of the lines you will have a pretty good idea of how, I suspect, most kids feel right before meeting a new family.

Questions for my foster mom
  1. Do you have a cat?
  2. I'm scared to live there.
  3. How will you keep me safe?
  4. I'm really scared going there. I'm going to miss [the group home].
  5. Do you have a Playstation?
  6. I'm really scared because I don't know you well.
  7. What time will I go to bed?
  8. Will I get grounded?
  9. Will I get early bedtimes or time in my room? (common consequences at the group home)
  10. Is your foster son nice to people?
  11. Does your daughter like basketball?
  12. Will you read to me?
  13. Will you tuck me in at night?
  14. Is your dog's name Buddy? (she'd been told this a hundred times already)
  15. Are you polite to people?
  16. Do you like foster kids?
  17. What do you do for activities?
  18. Will I have to do chores? I really hate chores?
  19. I'm scared that I will not go back to my (bio)mom.
  20. Do you like pizza, McDonalds, and the zoo?
  21. How will I get to school?
  22. Will I have my own room?
  23. Will I have a bunk bed?
  24. Do you like to go to the bank?
  25. I like Bratz dolls.
  26. I like peanut butter and jell.
  27. I respect people.
  28. I'm going to be scared to leave (group home).
  29. I like reading, ice skating, and Pizza Hut.
  30. I don't like people hitting me. It gives me scary feelings.
  31. Do you brush your teeth with other kids? I like that.
  32. Do you like to brush people's hair?
  33. Do you like to do ponytails in their hair?
  34. Do you take pictures at the zoo?
  35. What is your phone number?
  36. Do you like snacks and do you like music?
  37. I do like foster moms but they are a little scary.

She asked every single one of them at the meeting - scrunched up in her chair and peeking over the paper they were typed on. It was adorable and I was so proud of her. Someday, I'll tell more about Janie - she is an amazing kid with an awesome story. :)

5 comments:

  1. Jessie sounds like such a cool kid! I'm totally going to use this list with K.

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  2. What an empowering experience for that kid. To have so much of the fear and uncertainty that is evident in those questions, and to go in there and ask them all! Very cool.

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  3. Thanks for doing what you do, and for sharing with those who may not know what it's like to be a child under such difficult circumstances.

    Thanks also for visiting our blog. I hope that if you do get the book "Loving Our Kids on Purpose", that you'll share with your foster parents. I think it is well worth the investment.
    Juan

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  4. You need to scurry over to my blog. I've given you an award!

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  5. Have you ever read Mary MacCracken's (Circle of Children, Lovey) or Torey Hayden's (One Child, The Tiger's Child) books about their years working as special ed teachers? Your beautiful but heartbreaking stories remind me of theirs. I hope there's book writing in your future! Until then, I'm sure enjoying your blog.

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