I thought for awhile I would take a break from posting pictures and do something different on my blog. I am by no means a professional writer and I have long forgotten some if not most of what I learned in school about writing stories or the proper use of words, punctuation and sentence structure. I have written down some of my experiences as a foster and adoptive parent over the years though and thought I would share some of them. If you are kind enough to take the time to read them…thank you and I hope you enjoy them.
School Adventures: Chapter One
Having foster, adopted, abused and special needs children in the public school system was an adventure to say the least. Every day brought new challenges and surprises for me.
We most always had at least three children under two years old and sometimes we had five under three. Each morning getting the older children dressed, fed and in the van to go to school was a busy time. When they were all ready to go my oldest daughter and I would put the babies and toddlers in their car seats and we were off to school. Most mornings we drove right on to school, but some of those mornings we would have to take a baby or two back inside for one reason or another. Some of those mornings were like this….
One toddler who had been physically abused was in a spica cast. This cast covered her body from just below her arm pits to the tips of her toes with a bar that held her legs apart. It was quite a challenge to change her diaper and bathe her. Each diaper change and cleaning I used a hair dryer to dry her skin and then put plastic wrap around the cast to keep it dry in areas where it could get wet or dirty. It was quite time consuming to do this.
There were a few mornings when right after we were all in the van and ready to head toward the school that this sweet little girl decided she needed to do her stinky business. Well, you know what that meant, she had to be changed, dried and the plastic wrap replaced. My daughter would help me all she could, but one can only go so fast when you have to use a hair dryer and make sure all creases and areas are dry. There were times we just didn’t make it to school on time but the teachers were understanding. Most days getting everyone loaded up and to the school went well though.
After getting the children to school I would come back home, take all the babies in the house and begin our daily routine. Some mornings I barely had everyone back in the house when someone from school would call. Other days these calls would come later in the day, but the calls came very often. Sometimes they needed me to go to the school to have a child get up from the floor, get out of his desk and go to his next class or to get him to go back in the building after recess. One interesting incident I recall being summoned to the school for was when…one of the 12 year old girls to prove her breasts were real showed them to a boy that had told her they were fake.
Sometimes the children that had spent the weekend with their birth parents and then were taken to school on Monday by their case worker needed dry clothes, catheters, diapers or medication. As soon as these children arrived at school I was called to bring what they needed. I always sent a change of clothes with the children on Friday so when their caseworker picked them up for a visit hopefully they would have enough for the weekend and for school on Monday. There were times though when the children were returned to school with only the clothes they were wearing and those clothes were dirty or wet. I was called to bring them dry clothing and other supplies that were not returned with the children.
There were times when I had to take lunch money or lunches because someone took one of the children’s lunchbox, stole and ate their lunch or grabbed it and threw it in the trash. One day one of my boys (10 years old) had a seizure and wandered away from the school. He was left unattended sitting in the hall which was never supposed to happen. The school had a letter on file from his doctor stating that because of seizures he was never to be left unattended and was to always be given his medication on time. I was not notified and did not even know that he was missing until the librarian from the local library called me and told me she had found him in front of the library incoherent and called the school.
I had no idea what had happened and why he was there. I put the babies in the van and headed to the library, quite upset and very put out with the principal and teacher for not notifying me that he was missing. When I arrived at the library I was told the assistant principal had come before me and taken my son back to the school. I was thankful the librarian knew me and had my phone number. She nor I knew that school officials had been looking for him for two hours until the principal told her when he picked my son up at the library.
Oh, I was so angry by the time I got to the school, but I acted as much like a lady as one can when their child is discovered to be missing and they have not been notified. No one had any idea where he was during the time he was gone from the school. It is a miracle he made it safely across a very busy highway to get to the library.
When I spoke with his teacher she told me she thought he was still in the hall until it was time for his medication and she sent someone to walk with him to the office. I was quite upset that she not only left him in the hall unsupervised but that she did not check on him after putting him out there. I never did find out why she put him in the hall in the first place. She refused to talk to me any longer after what little she told me about what happened.
To this day I have no idea how long he was in the hall alone or how long he was actually missing, I really don’t think anyone knows how long he was out of the school. That situation was not handled well by the school officials at all and resulted in me home schooling my son the remainder of his school days. To be continued…..
©Mumsy’s True Parenting Stories
I have nothing against public schools. I volunteered in the public school my children attended and did a lot of art work for them. There are some good schools and there are some not so good. Some children do very well in public school and others do not. Some of our children were in the group with those that do not blossom in public school, but did in homeschool. The one-on-one attention and lots of hands-on learning was just what they needed. I am thankful we have school choices.