Sunday, September 02, 2007

Blast From The Past

Just thought I'd show the Viewer's Choice quilt from the Planetarium Show last year. Absolutely stunning. The depth effect could not have been better.
September is here and this year's show is not far off. I'm still putting finishing touches on my entry for this year. Also getting my camera all charged up so I can share with you.

Technology Everywhere/ Foster Mother's

Last Friday I accompanied my friend to a funeral home visit. It was a couple hours away from where we live. Instead of having a guest book to sign, they had a computer. This was the first time I'd seen this. They also had made a wonderful video tape about the girl's life and you could buy a copy. I've seen the ability to e-mail condolences to the funeral home and to find all the info on line but this was new to me. Technology everywhere.

This visit was so sad as a young person's life had ended. After three years of battling it, a 19 year old girl had died from a rare autoimmune disease. As the girl had said, my friend was one of her three mothers. She had a birth mother who gave her life. My friend was her foster mother and of course there was her wonderful mother who adopted and raised her. My friend has mothered 55 newborn foster babies over many years. Some for a few weeks. Others for many months. The movies show the babies being handed off in some office or court room and the adoptive family never knowing the foster family. This wasn't the way it was done with my fiend. As directed by the Social Worker, the family came to her house for visits and to interact with the child. She stepped back and let the family feed and bath the child. This was to make the transfer easier for the child but I think it also helped the adopting family. They saw the loving care and home the child had been in. Some of the families who adopted the babies my friend cared for have keep in touch with her and this was one such family. Finn recently posted about adopting her DD#1 here in MI forty years ago. I don't know about how it is done now in MI or how it is done in other places, but newborn babies who's mother's were unable to care for them, used to be placed in foster care and assigned a foster mother. Some of these babies were premature and had to stay in the hospital for a while. My friend went to the hospital and "mothered" the child. She cared for them through illnesses and surgeries. She took pictures of them and made baby books for each. When they left her, (some did go to their birth mothers) they had records, pictures and mementos of the events of their lives while with her. My friend says it would be so sad for a child to have a blank for the early weeks of their lives. The baby pics didn't have the foster family in them, just the baby doing baby things. Yes, it was very hard for my friend to separate from each baby, but she knew she had given each one the best love and care during a transitional time. We hear so many negative things about foster care but there are many wonderful things that people don't know about. I'll bet Finn's DD#1 had one of those mothers during the time Finn was waiting to take her home. Did some of the women who accompanied the children on the Orphan Train "mother" them along the way? Oh, I think so.
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Finn said...

Hi Katie, hope you are feeling better as you read this..*VBS* That darn intestional stuff...I too have the senstive GI trac, doesn't take much to throw it a kilter!
Neat pic of the tumbling blocks...lots of work in that one, for sure!
And how sweet that the foster mom keeps her 'role' in the lives of these children. DD#1 and same with DS1! both had both been in foster care right after leaving the hospital. We neither met them nor were offered the opportunity. We have a lovely, but very brief letter stating what the baby's preferances were regarding sleeping, feedings, ets. If they were a fussy baby or not, and what pleased them. A few sentences on a sheet of paper...that was all. You could tell that each of them had been tenderly loved and nurtured by someone. DD was very ready to accept love and devotion and displayed little seperation anxiety. DS was another WHOLE story. He was a very cranky baby who wanted what he was used to and I didn't measure up...LOL. Wrong face, wrong voice, wrong smell..a lot of screaming went on for a couple of months until he began to 'settle in'. No follow up was allowed to the foster parents, etc.
For quite a few years, we added a picture each year to the agency's file on DD, in case the adoptive mom had a question or inquiry. All the pictures were there, unviews at the time my DD found her birth mom, and they returned to the agency together. Maybe being it eas a private agency might explain the no contact with foster family. I suspect it portects those who will take in and care for a child.
As a foster parent I can speak for how incredibly scary it is, to have the baby's parent standing on your porch wanting to come into the house. They had followed the social worker to our house. Having 5 kids of my own to protect, it was quite unnerving. Especially since the baby in question had been removed for parental abuse. We had that particular baby twice before this happened, but once it did, I told his social worker I couldn't care for him again knowing his parents knew where I lived.
So you see, there are many sides to 'why' a thing might be a certain 'way'.
In WI we met the foster mom who had both DD#2 and a few years later DS#3. We saw the children in her home and that was a nice part of the adoption, I think. We did stay in touch with her for quite a few years.
I've heard back from a few of the foster babies I care for, but with DH's job, a move comes about every 7 years. Usually across the state or further...LOL Hard to keep a contact going. Have a great day, Hugs, Finn

jovaliquilts said...

What an amazing love and ability to keep on giving when you are a foster parent. It has been so touching to read your post and Finn's comment.