Back to reality

Last week was spring break. We had a great vacation. Evan went to respite because our family desperately needed a break. Respite care is when one foster family temporarily keeps another foster family’s children.

The foster mom that kept Evan was full of things to tell us when we picked him up. She is a seasoned foster parent and she was deeply disturbed by his behavior. She said she had never seen any child with behavior as bad as his. While at her house, he did the same things he does at our house. He is very defiant and tries to start arguments constantly. He does not like authority and throws a temper tantrum any time he doesn’t get his way. Getting him to pick up his toys after he plays is a nightmare. He yelled at her and told her he hates her. He told her that he wants to be a girl.

He was put on medicine for ADHD a few weeks ago. I have said from the beginning that I couldn’t tell any difference from the medicine. The respite foster mom told me the same thing. There were no naps while he was with her and he refused to go to bed. During the night, we are lucky if he sleeps six hours and very rarely does he sleep through the night. Most nights he wakes me up by screaming my name around two or three. He did the same thing at her house.

I felt sorry for this lady and she felt sorry for me. We both agreed that something needs to be done. There are still four more months until he goes for neurological testing. While I am hopeful that the testing will show something, four months seems like an eternity! Most days I’m not sure how I will get through. So many times I have heard stories about foster children and how the system failed them. I feel like the system is failing Evan.

Nothing that has been said by me, or his previous three foster homes has made any difference. This child needs help! There have been two different social workers tell my husband and I that this was the hardest case they have seen as far as the child’s behavior. I know social workers are very overworked and I’m sure there are guidelines they have to follow, but I can only do so much.

Since coming to our home, he has started preschool. His principal recommended after school care, so I started him with it too. After speaking to his case manager, his therapy has been bumped up to three times a month instead of two. I signed him up for soccer, hoping being part of a team and having that time to run would be good for him. We have a sticker chart at home that focuses on behavior. After consulting with both an RN and a nutritionist, I have changed his diet and started him on vitamins. So far, none of these things has made any difference.

After having been away from him, I feel even more discouraged. Sometimes stepping away really opens your eyes to the truth and severity of a situation. Now, it’s back to reality. It’s back to physical and verbal aggression. It’s back to lying, manipulating, temper tantrums, and confrontation. I haven’t given up on him, so for now, this is my reality!