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Old 05-25-2012, 08:47 AM   #31
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Re: Looking 4 Advice on Raising Young Kids from Abusive & Severely Neglectful Backgro

I have to applaud your honesty...these Mama's can be a great resource when they have a good look at the big picture.

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Old 05-25-2012, 08:47 AM   #32
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Re: Looking 4 Advice on Raising Young Kids from Abusive & Severely Neglectful Backgro

Are you able to hire a mother's helper? Teens are always looking for ways to make some extra cash
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Old 05-25-2012, 12:00 PM   #33
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Re: Looking 4 Advice on Raising Young Kids from Abusive & Severely Neglectful Backgro

Are you getting medicaid for the kids? I was in a different state, but the medicaid would pay me back for gas for medical/therapy appointments. In addition, social services would reimburse me for the gas for the same trip (I checked to make sure it was OK to claim the same miles both places).

Are you getting monetary support/reimbursement from social services? Sometimes, if a relative caregiver gets licensed as a foster parent they qualify for more reimbursement. I would call social services and see if they have any support available for you. Try to talk to more than one person. In my experience, they all tell you something different. Or ask a lawyer who specializes in this sort of thing.
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Old 05-25-2012, 04:24 PM   #34
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Re: Looking 4 Advice on Raising Young Kids from Abusive & Severely Neglectful Backgro

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Originally Posted by Mama2ManyBoyz View Post
I have to applaud your honesty...these Mama's can be a great resource when they have a good look at the big picture.
I just have so many feelings - but that distant feeling towards her makes me want to just sit and cry, like, it really makes me feel horrible. She is so sweet, and if you can see past the many scars, she is gorgeous. And she is probably the most lovey kid ever. She would sit and cuddle and let me read stories to her all day long. We actually had a GREAT day today. We went to a park about 15-20 miles from here thats pretty secluded but BIG AND SHADED. Cuz it was a hot one today. We packed sandwiches and stuff and I took lots of pictures - will try to share some later. Jon got a timeout once, but other than that, it was WONDERFUL. I think if I can just relax a little, it's easier on everyone.

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Are you able to hire a mother's helper? Teens are always looking for ways to make some extra cash
Been scouting out willing teens! lol. My cousin was helping me when she was living with my mom, but shes back home now that schools out. Miss her.

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Are you getting medicaid for the kids? I was in a different state, but the medicaid would pay me back for gas for medical/therapy appointments. In addition, social services would reimburse me for the gas for the same trip (I checked to make sure it was OK to claim the same miles both places).

Are you getting monetary support/reimbursement from social services? Sometimes, if a relative caregiver gets licensed as a foster parent they qualify for more reimbursement. I would call social services and see if they have any support available for you. Try to talk to more than one person. In my experience, they all tell you something different. Or ask a lawyer who specializes in this sort of thing.
Yes. I've wondered about that. A friend told me something to that degree, like... take the foster care training classes and we could qualify for mileage towards Dr. visits, etc. But I really need to talk to someone about it, because... right now we get $300 per month per child. So, $600 per month in kinship care (because were relatives). And they have their medicaid insurance. I really thought that $ would be extra and id be putting it away in savings for them or put it towards strictly items/activities for them, but it's been sucked away by clothes, furniture, gas, and GROCERIES. I did get WIC recently on the lil girl and because of adding 2 kids was able to get it on my girls - helps a TON! But DH is getting a raise next month and I'll think it'll put us back over the income limit.
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Old 05-25-2012, 06:12 PM   #35
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Re: Looking 4 Advice on Raising Young Kids from Abusive & Severely Neglectful Backgro

A side note - since you have insurance, can you see a specialist - not sure who for when she gets older to get them lightened or "fixed." I have no clue what they can do but I know they have scar creams and other stuff and the younger you do it the better.

Its great you want to put the money away, but you are ultimately spending it on them and that is what it is meant for. When you can, you put it away, but its far better they have a loving/stable home with you than have a savings account. The wic and other programs so need to up their limits. It sucks a slight raise sets people over.

Check the rec. department and call and ask if in your situation/former foster care or low income waivers. I know ours does. One of the parents I worked with told me about it so its not something everyone knows (no one in our department knew till I found out).

You already are approved and getting the stipend. You can't open a case up in less there is a new allegation of abuse/neglect and get them adjudicated like that.

A mom's helper is a good idea. I've thought about one to get stuff done. Even a 10-12 year old could entertain the kids, at least the younger ones so you can get a break or get stuff done. Or, on the flip side, could you spring for maid service or something else once a month? Going from two to four like you did is a big change!

Also, check groupon and some of those places as I've been seeing summer camps really discount their prices last minute and some of them are the "better" well known ones which surprised me. Maybe you could do a week each for the three older ones and just have the little one.
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Old 05-25-2012, 10:15 PM   #36
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Re: Looking 4 Advice on Raising Young Kids from Abusive & Severely Neglectful Backgro

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I just have so many feelings - but that distant feeling towards her makes me want to just sit and cry, like, it really makes me feel horrible. She is so sweet, and if you can see past the many scars, she is gorgeous. And she is probably the most lovey kid ever. She would sit and cuddle and let me read stories to her all day long. We actually had a GREAT day today. We went to a park about 15-20 miles from here thats pretty secluded but BIG AND SHADED. Cuz it was a hot one today. We packed sandwiches and stuff and I took lots of pictures - will try to share some later. Jon got a timeout once, but other than that, it was WONDERFUL. I think if I can just relax a little, it's easier on everyone.
Just my for whatever it might be worth to you ~
I think you definitely need some therapy for yourself and for you and Ashlyn together. Feelings can be legitimate and valid and good to confront/recognize at the same time that they are unreasonable/illogical. Sometimes we have to go by what our head tells us instead of what we feel. We basically have to act it until we feel it because sometimes our feelings can get us into trouble. Feelings change and are not always reliable indicators of truth. Your brain/thoughts are powerful. You need to try to concentrate/think about truths. -Ashlyn is a precious little girl. She is valuable. Her physical scars are not her fault and do not matter. She is worth your love, hard work and sacrifice. Perhaps it might help for you to journal your feelings and thoughts about them. To try and figure out why you have some of those feelings. Even if what you come up with doesn't seem sensible - situations affect every person differently and bring different feelings/issues/struggles. Having her in such close proximity to your daughter of the same age; what does that bring up for you? Something along the lines of her awful experiences will somehow rub off on or impact your daughter negatively? Or it's hard to face that these things were done to Ashlyn because you unconsciously relate that to what if it happened to your daughter? Is it hard to look at her because you can't stand to think about how she got the scars? I am just throwing things out there. But, I know it has helped me in different situations to think really hard about why I was feeling the way I was feeling so that I could confront that and replace the thoughts behind those feelings with truth. And then the feeling change comes after the change in thinking.

It sounds like she is desperate for real, abiding, unconditional love. My heart just hurts for her.

But, I am so glad you had a good day!! Maybe that's a little window of hope for what's at the end of a very long tunnel.
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Old 05-26-2012, 07:28 AM   #37
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Re: Looking 4 Advice on Raising Young Kids from Abusive & Severely Neglectful Backgro

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Just my for whatever it might be worth to you ~
I think you definitely need some therapy for yourself and for you and Ashlyn together. Feelings can be legitimate and valid and good to confront/recognize at the same time that they are unreasonable/illogical. Sometimes we have to go by what our head tells us instead of what we feel. We basically have to act it until we feel it because sometimes our feelings can get us into trouble. Feelings change and are not always reliable indicators of truth. Your brain/thoughts are powerful. You need to try to concentrate/think about truths. -Ashlyn is a precious little girl. She is valuable. Her physical scars are not her fault and do not matter. She is worth your love, hard work and sacrifice. Perhaps it might help for you to journal your feelings and thoughts about them. To try and figure out why you have some of those feelings. Even if what you come up with doesn't seem sensible - situations affect every person differently and bring different feelings/issues/struggles. Having her in such close proximity to your daughter of the same age; what does that bring up for you? Something along the lines of her awful experiences will somehow rub off on or impact your daughter negatively? Or it's hard to face that these things were done to Ashlyn because you unconsciously relate that to what if it happened to your daughter? Is it hard to look at her because you can't stand to think about how she got the scars? I am just throwing things out there. But, I know it has helped me in different situations to think really hard about why I was feeling the way I was feeling so that I could confront that and replace the thoughts behind those feelings with truth. And then the feeling change comes after the change in thinking.

It sounds like she is desperate for real, abiding, unconditional love. My heart just hurts for her.

But, I am so glad you had a good day!! Maybe that's a little window of hope for what's at the end of a very long tunnel.

Thanks. I think that's a really good idea. I need to figure out why I really feel this way. I think it got worse instead of better because in a way I feel like I'm putting my 2 youngest at risk. They've both partially picked up Ashlyn's speech impediment & her superficial charm, and several bad behaviors/habits from both Jon & Ashlyn. And the walking in on Ashlyn trying to get my 2 year old to basically molest her was just... agonizing. You know, she has all these burn scars, etc. and she early on would tell us that her birthmom did it because she loved her and at one time asked me to do that to her. I don't think anyone had ever held that child in their lap and read her a story til she came here. Now that's like one of her absolute favorite things and one thing I MAKE myself do because I know it means alot to her and hope that'll continue to force the bond between us so I can start living like these kids are MY kids, because... simply, they are. I think if I take the time to sit and think or shower and think or think whenever I have 5 minutes, lol, about how I feel and why I feel that way, it's easier for me to maybe act the way I need to, for their sakes, no matter how I might feel, and hope my feelings may follow in my actions footsteps sort of, if that makes sense.

R, my 4 year old DD, is an exceptional kid, granted I'm a bit biased because she's my own flesh & blood, but... really, she is advanced for her age. She can write, read, has a VERY strong memory, she can cook (with a lil assistance & supervision, of course), she can run a sewing machine and make a pillow, she can do all sorts of things some adults can't even do these days... considering ppl pay me to sew buttons back on their shirts & britches. I've been able to spend ALOT of time with her the last 4 years, even after having B when she was 20 months. She was singing her ABCs perfectly before she was even close to being 2. She's always had a strong desire to learn, just like me. She's very caring, nurturing, and when she wants to grow up, she wants to be a mommy! She understands the concept of time, etc. She's dumbing herself down to try and be like Ashlyn... like asking questions I KNOW she knows the answer to. And I guess, maybe its just annoying and I'm turning molehills into moutains, but... that's just a SMIDGEN.

Ashlyn is also VERY VERY thin, grossly think, and I think overweight me is really turned away by that, but also by the fact I can't get her to eat. I mean, she seems afraid to even ask for a snack if she's hungry, or 2nds at the table. . .

Since we've gotten Ashlyn, she's less eager to learn, because, of course, Ashlyn doesn't want to, and Ashlyn's learning stuff she learned around the age of 2. I thought we could kinda run em as twins, but that is not possible. Ashlyn, developmentally, is probably at or behind where my 2 year old is. I just feel like Reese is becoming more and more like Ashlyn and I despise that, and maybe I'm holding that against Ashlyn.

Whoever recommended the 5 Love Languages of Children & Parenting the Hurt Child. THANK YOU SO MUCH! I'm on chapter 3 in both of them. I downloaded them to my Kindles yesterday afternoon. VERY insightful. Course, now Im analyzing my parents parenting and thinking... they really screwed me up. haha. j.k. But great books! Can't wait to get deeper into them. And I think RAD hits the nail on the head, so when I get through these, I'll prolly pick up the other recommendations on the RAD book.

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A side note - since you have insurance, can you see a specialist - not sure who for when she gets older to get them lightened or "fixed." I have no clue what they can do but I know they have scar creams and other stuff and the younger you do it the better.
Well, if I can get DH to add them (been wanting him to anyways, we've already met our $4400 deductible this year between DDs tonsillectomy and his gallbladder surgery) so maybe I could convince the therapist to see them 2x a week with it. Bill medicaid once and ours once, if maybe thats something hindering it. Because, I know when we go to the Dr.... the office always treats B & R better than they do A & J. And I swear its because we have private health insurance.

I did talk to a plastic surgeon about her scars, but... the only recommendation given was regular lotion and 2-5 minutes of massage 2x a day and TIME. But, there's so many...... she gets lotioned but... i can't say that im able to massage them all like that even everyday, i try to do her arms though - cuz almost every inch of both of her arms are covered. I just dread when she's like 11 or 12 and starts gaining more interest in her physical appearance, etc. and she realizes how damaging what Ashley did to her was.



I just cant thank all of you enough that's responded to or just read my thread. The fact that you cared enough to respond or give advice or book recommendations, or even just to read this, means the world to me. It's such a blessing to me that I am able to utilize DS Mamas for support! Even though I know we don't all, always agree, we can keep an ope mind, and try to help one another through all the different things were going through... and maybe even swap a few goodies in the midst of it all.
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Old 05-26-2012, 08:16 AM   #38
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Re: Looking 4 Advice on Raising Young Kids from Abusive & Severely Neglectful Backgro

Hopefully by the time she's a teenager, they will have better ways to treat scars. I'd also take her for a second opinion when you get a chance. Many kids are very thin. I was, my son was for a long time (he's now gained a lot of weight) so to me that is just normal. She'll eat when she wants to but just don't let it be a power struggle and you may just want to leave snacks out she can get to.

Be careful with the sexual stuff. That is where you need a really good therapist.

You'll probably have to wait till open enrollment. That way you will be double insured and may have more access to "better" docs and therapists. You normally need a court order within 30 days (no one tells you this and I learned it via a foster parent who figured it out) or open enrollment. But, if you have a family plan with 4, it may not be any more for 6. The issues you have with the doc's are absolutely insurance related. I've had a lot of families tell me that, which is why now some of the foster families put the kids on their insurance (I would). Most have clauses that allow all kids of kids living in your home. Also, you may have access to better speech and other services (though I am having a terrible time getting our insurance to pay for speech even though they keep approving it so we are private paying).

I would really make a push to get the kids into more services and into a rec department camp or see if they are eligible for head start in the fall (they may have different requirements without regard to income in a situation like yours). The younger you get them help, the better their outcome will be. It is hard with 4 kids to do all that running so you can also try like PP suggested to find people who come in home.
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Old 05-26-2012, 10:09 AM   #39
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Omg, yes! I totally forgot about Head Start! Seriously the best program ever in my opinion!

You having such an open mind to everyone's suggestions shows what a WONDERFUL mother you are. Keep it up, and I truly believe everything will come together.
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Old 05-26-2012, 10:34 AM   #40
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Re: Looking 4 Advice on Raising Young Kids from Abusive & Severely Neglectful Backgro

Have you tried Mederma on the scars? They make a kids version. I burned my forearm pretty badly on a pizza pan fresh out of the oven and it did wonders in healing it.
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