Monday, November 19, 2007


“I am going to start with the assumption that you agree with the whole foster family thing, since I know you were consulted. Do you think, overall, there have been more positives or negatives about the experience? I will even go so far as to assume that as a whole it has been a positive thing in retrospect, but if you break it down do you think in each individual placement that, for you and/or your family, there have been more positive or negative things to deal with. I ask because perhaps not all families could deal with things as well as yours.

Next question: Do you think it would have been better to stop with one placement or has it been better to keep adding kids?”

“How (if at all) has having gay, older brothers impacted you? Specifically, I am wondering if/how being a member of a PFLAG family has impacted your social relationships at school, but I would be interested in your other related thoughts.”

Well first off your right in both assumptions. As for positive and negatives I defiantly think there have been more positives than negatives. I love my brothers very much and it’s very hard for me to imagine life with out them. There have been challenges but overall it’s been a great experience. It has also given me an incredible amount of insight and understanding about life in general.

If I were to break it down placement by placement I would say that the first placement with Carl was great. Most of the worst issues were handled by my parents, like the time he came home drunk after a party, and they didn’t affect me as directly. The few months Ann was with us were really hard as I’ve talked about before, and I’d say it was a negative experience overall. David was also a good placement up until the last few months. It was hard to see my mom get that stressed out, but overall it was positive and it’s much better now that there isn’t a constant struggle to keep him in high school and living at home. Evan was also positive overall. I had problems with him personally but it was just that we had problems getting along. Neither of us were actively seeking confrontation or really hating each other. It also got much better later on when we worked out most of those differences. Frankie might not have been a good placement but I feel that once it was clear that it wasn’t working out and that he needed to be somewhere where he could get more help, things were dealt with. It got to be pretty bad at the end but it was a short period of time and not a long term ordeal.

I think overall it was good to keep adding kids although I wouldn’t use those words necessarily. I don’t really feel like I have to share parents. I could potentially see a point where there would be too many kids but that seems a fair ways off. I would definitely feel differently if they had all been there at the same time, three kids in one house is enough. It would have been incredibly hard if they had all been here at the same time.

My brothers being gay hasn’t actually affected my life at all, the way other people view homosexuality and how they treat my brothers has. Having gay brothers has made me more aware and sensitive to the ignorance and bigotry that surrounds the subject.

As far as my social life is concerned it has had an impact although perhaps not in the way one might expect. I haven’t had to deal with a lot of hatred (I think s word would be much more fitting but come on my mother will be reading this) directed at me. It causes me a lot of pain seeing the ignorance and hatred at school and has certainly affected who I make friends with. Hearing kids use various insults and slurs isn’t fun for me to say the least. I could probably go on for pages about it but I’ll save that for when I have more time.

To Innocent Observer and Wen

“What have been the best and worst parts of being a foster sibling?

Would you foster when you have your own children, and why or why not?

What would you do differently?”

“I'm curious if you'd consider fostering when you are older.

I'm also curious what you think the best thing about having foster-sibs is, and what has been hardest for you.”

In my experience the best parts of having foster siblings are much the same as the good thing about having normal siblings, and the worst things are when it isn’t like having biological siblings. I the best case it’s like having another brother or sister which comes with good things and bad things, I don’t really know how to precisely describe that but I hope you know what I mean. The really bad times are when the kid rejects the family, or vice versa. For instance when Ann was living with us she really didn’t want to be there, she wanted to go back to her last home, and it felt like I was forced to live with a stranger. I wasn’t at ease at home, it wasn’t a totally safe place. By safe place I don’t mean I was in any dangerous situation but I couldn’t really relax and let down my guard. Not having that sort of family love or at least acceptance can make it very painful and draining to live with some one.

I’m not entirely sure if I will foster when I grow up it really depends on where I end up and how everything is. Fostering takes a lot of time and effort but if I have that I think I will. As far as what I would do differently I guess I would pay close attention and not let things drag on for a long time if things aren’t working out especially if I have other kids. I think my parents have done a great job over all and I think I would end up spending most of my time trying to replicate what they do than I would spend on trying to improve upon it.

To Mrs. Butter B

“1. We're about to start officialling fostering- what advice do you give to my 14 yr old daughter (who's always been the spoiled baby) in how to make this work? She's thinking its going to be a blast- younger sibs to play with yada yada...

2. What, out of all the sibs you have (foster & bio not respite) do you find the hardest to deal with?

3. How are you doing since the whole Frankie thing happened? Did it change your perspective on blended houses?”

1. It’s hard to say exactly what would help your daughter since I don’t really know her or the foster kid. I also don’t have too much experience with spoiled 14 year olds which I am very thankful for, but I’ll answer as best I can. At one point one of the social workers gave me here phone number so I could call her if there were problems and would talk to me occasionally and see how I was doing. I never ended up calling here but it was comforting to know that I could. Unfortunately most social workers are incredibly busy and might not be willing or able to do that.

As for what you can do, my parents would very good at asking me how I was doing and making sure that I was ok with everything, which helped a lot. I would also recommend that if things aren’t going to work out, like if the kid isn’t getting along with the family, don’t draw it out for a long time, the worst experiences I have had doing foster care have almost always come from kids who didn’t want to be at our house. Usually in those situations the kid will lash out at the parents and throw fits, etc but sometimes they will start picking fights with the other kids, which is definitely something to look out for.

For the most part, just listen to her and take what she says into consideration. Obviously that doesn’t mean do everything she says but sometimes just honestly considering her problems can make the whole thing a lot easier on her, or at least it helped me.

2. The hardest was by far Ann I mentioned earlier that sometimes kids who don’t want to be where they are act out and sometimes even pick fights with siblings to try and get moved, well she was one such kid. I had a very hard time with her and we ended up fighting a lot. I’ve had problems with other kids to be sure but none of them would make issues just for the sake of making issues. I remember at one point, I was talking to some one about some prepackaged fruit cups which my mom had bought for my lunches, they were for lunches not just for snakes something along those lines. She came from across the room and started yelling and arguing with me. It was very obvious that she didn’t care about the fruit cups and I hadn’t been talking to her or even speaking to everyone in general. Those kinds of problems are in my experience the worst by far.

3. Frankie was an interesting kid. I actually didn’t have a huge problem with him personally. Although he was kid of annoying and unreasonable I sort of expected it from him, he never seemed to me to be 15 years old. He always seemed to be a lot closer to 8. He would through tantrums and get angry at everything and everyone but himself, but I was already expecting that kind of behavior so I wasn’t ever disappointed or hurt by him and when he argued with me, which wasn’t even that often, I was able to keep my cool and leave before anything got bad. I had the feeling, fairly early, on that things weren’t going to work out, with the way he was acting. By the time thing were getting out of hand it was clear that he was going to be moved out.

The experience didn’t really change my perspective on blended households much. Some times placements just don’t work out, it can be sad but that, in my opinion, is the way it is.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

First Post

This is my first post on blogger. My name is Andrew (or at least that what I'll be calling myself) and I live in a family that fosters. I myself am a bio kid (as in the biological child of the parents I live with.) I'm not sure yet how I want to set this thing up or how often I want to post on it. So I thought I would start by just answering questions, both general and specific, and I plan on answering the questions as posts. I might, if I have time, give some kind of background or history.
First off for those of you who have come form Yondalla's (my mother) page ( you did find the right page, I am her son. I know (or can find out) the names she's using for every one so feel free to ask specific sorts of questions if you want and I'll try to answer them.
For those who have by some miracle found this page by accident I'm eighteen and my family has been fostering since I was around ten years old. I have one younger brother through birth, three older ones through fostering, two siblings both younger than me who didn't end up staying with us, and a bunch of other kids who have stayed with us for respite (temporary care.) Overall it's been a pretty good experience if not always easy.
I'll be happy to answer any questions that you have... well that might not actually be true but I've set the comments so that I have to approve them through email so fire away.