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  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by sketcher View Post
    He is a kid. He will have a lot if issues that will likely be a lot to deal with for whomever gets him. But really, I'm not sure if you have worked with these types of kids all these years where you see all this stability and relationships with teachers and all these others that are supposed to be stepping up for him.
    THAT is that part of what you said that bothered me.
    what I saw, was gaping holes in the article, which caused some heartstrings to be tugged firmly. I didn't say years of stable relationships with any authority figure(s). What I did refer to was that in 9 years of schooling, if he was really this great but misunderstood kid, someone probably would have seen that.

    If I read the article correctly, he has been in the foster system for his entire 15 years. Often the tiny new babies are adopted by their first or second foster home (around here anyway). But he wasn't? Why? Don't misunderstand this either. There could be legit reasons for that, and those very reasons could be why he is where he is now.


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  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by threedogpack View Post
    if he's a great kid, but simply tossed into circumstances beyond his control, if he's in school (and there was a mention of grades falling), then there likely would be a teacher, guidance counselor or *somebody* who would have seen this diamond in the rough.
    That is extremely naive. Really?

    Quote Originally Posted by threedogpack View Post
    Perhaps he is, but I think the odds are against him (with the mention of anger management in the article). It is more likely that he has more baggage than was indicated in the article.

    The only facts you OR I have is what was in the article and those aren't always true facts. I make my judgement of his circumstances based on over 20 years of dealing with kids who have the same or similar backgrounds as this one. He's had 15 years of learning to make decisions based on a criteria that I do not use and you probably do not use either. Is it unfortunate? Very. Is it sad? Very. Neither of which eliminate him from being a great possibility or....not. I highly doubt he's the devils spawn, but I doubt he is a misunderstood saint either.
    You think?

    An abandoned child, tossed around the foster care system, and we think wonder if he is a misunderstood saint?



    Of course he has more baggage than in the article! He was abandoned, passed around from family to family, and now that he's old enough to really think about it - is resorting to publicly begging for a family! What a crappy set of cards this boy has been dealt! Yes - he has some serious baggage!

    No - kids like this will never be easy - that is why there are not families lined up to take him. But -- to blame him? It's not his fault.

    Personally, I blame the system. As an adoptive parent of internationally born children, I would have been happy to consider a domestic foster/adopt situation. Except our system does not act swiftly, with the best interest of the kids in mind. Children are not available through our foster care system at early ages, when adoptive parents are willing to take on this challenge. Often times, the foster-to-adopt family may care for a child for years only to lose them back to an inferior home situation to "preserve the family".

    I could be wrong, but I doubt that this boy's parent's rights were terminated when he was young, and as a result he was not available for adoption as a toddler. Which could have made all the difference in his life.

    That is the saddest part of this story.

    I really hope things work out for him.


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  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by threedogpack View Post
    they do not choose how/where they land. I also agree they have to do what they need to in order to survive (& sometimes thrive). That said, I think it often takes more than witnessing a different life, to make them want or make them able to see the value in it.

    Agreed - they only know what they know. Just seeing it, in my comparatively speaking limited experience, ain't gonna make much difference. Someone, somewhere along the way has to step out and take a risk on kids (and people in general) in situations such as this. My mom is an orphan...her life was horrific until the family of a school friend intervened and simply loved her. Mom was reared by a pedophile, alcoholic, abusive uncle - lived in fear all the time, never had her basic needs met. When she was 15 she went to live with another aunt until she graduated high school. Most of her basic needs were met except for love and relationship. She found that when a friend's family basically took her into their family. That relationship still goes strong today - mom is almost 70. Having a "family" of her own saved my mom....I'm certain of it.


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  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by sketcher View Post
    How sad that you feel that way and work with these kids. It is burnout work for sure.
    I don't work on that unit all the time. I don't have kids for a reason and after 12 hours with a "bad" group I've had it. If it's a "good" group, I really enjoy the kids. I don't deal with "anger issues" or ODD very well, ADD/ADHD makes me slightly crazy but I can deal with it. I'm good with depression and substance abuse. We all have our preferences.

    I actually like most of the kids, but for those who think they could adopt and life would be a bed of roses, they're dead wrong. And depending on the kid possibly just plain dead, literally. Many of these kids are treatment savvy and know what to do to get their way at least for a little while. To bring one of them into your home without knowing full well what you might be getting yourself into would be foolish. Bringing a troubled child into your home is a full time job that most well-meaning folks are not equipped for.


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  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by S1969 View Post
    No - kids like this will never be easy - that is why there are not families lined up to take him. But -- to blame him? It's not his fault.
    wait....blame him? No. I never blamed him. This is absolutely not his fault. Not at all.

    I could be wrong, but I doubt that this boy's parent's rights were terminated when he was young, and as a result he was not available for adoption as a toddler. Which could have made all the difference in his life.
    this is entirely possible (& maybe probable) and this would be one of the legit reasons he is where he is today.

    I really hope things work out for him.

    I do too. I hope that bringing his plight to the news media gets him to a family. If that doesn't happen, I hope that he gets help to make his life more stable in some other way.


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  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by shakeytails View Post
    To bring one of them into your home without knowing full well what you might be getting yourself into would be foolish. Bringing a troubled child into your home is a full time job that most well-meaning folks are not equipped for.
    yep, and living in a foster system for 15 years, he might be a bit troubled.


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  7. #47
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    I'm with sketcher on this. If you've worked out in the community with kids, as sketcher has done (and I did) you see all kinds of kids with all kinds of problems. But the kids I grew up with and the kids who were at the first barn I boarded C&C at all had similar problems. I did see the molestation issues in middle class homes in "normal" kids from middle class families. Right here on Coth on off topic we read about Cother's kids acting out. Your own kids can kill you. Your own kids can become dope dealers. (I knew, growing up, the #1 dope dealer in my home towni, spoiled, from upper middle class family} And alcoholics as teens and even preteens, and those who "got pregnant" as teens and those who committed suicide, all from "good" families, whatever the heck a "good" family is.

    People who adopt take on kids who have not had advantages, and who can kill or molest. But that can happen with your own blood relatives. It's just that when you adopt, you get someone else's problems, not those from your own blood and environment.

    Again, you don't have to adopt or foster to help a kid. And if you don't want to be around kids with problems, donate money or items to homes for kids. I grew up 3 miles from the oldest orphanage in the USA. The boys from Bethesda went to school with me. My mother was class mother in grammar school and she was the boys' favorite "mother." When my father's 2 llewellyn setters went down to Bethesda once or twice a week to chase the dairy cows and roll in manure, the boys would walk them home, and get cokes and money from my mother for returning the dogs. My mother paid for some of their school activities, and she furnished a lot of the cake and candy for celebrations. And I was taught to treat all those boys just like the kids with advantages that I grew up with.

    Exposure to others will change your opinion of them. No need to label this kid as a problem child without knowing him and spending time with him.


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  8. #48
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    The Florida foster care system has a reputation for withholding important information about foster kids. Information that potential adopters need to decide if they can take on the unique challenges. That is one possible reason why this poor kid is 15 and still being bounced around. Through no fault of his own, he might be the victim of potential parents being scared off by the reputation of the foster care system.

    Another issue is that some foster parents specialize in particular ages. Some take on babies, raise them to toddlers and send them on their way to the next age specialty caretaker. I don't know how they do it, but it works for them and they probably have a knack for babies that already have some difficulties.

    I admire this kid's moxie. I hope one of the families interested in him clears backgrounds checks and he goes home soon.

    If you have time, here is a website for older kids that are seeking adoption. Many have developmental delays or medical issues. We are too rural to meet their medical needs, but we are considering adoption once our son is much older.

    There is a simple search you can do to see the available children. What surprises me are the older teenagers who want a family. They want someone to care about them, even if they are striking out on their own. I believe there was a law to extend the foster care system to follow them until they are 21, but I don't know if it actually went into effect, nor how much is actually required of the caseworkers. Can you imagine how it must feel when they turn 18 and that's it? No caseworker, no one looking out for them. Totally alone in the world unless they bonded with a foster parent along the way.

    http://www.adoptflorida.org/search.asp
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  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by threedogpack View Post
    wait....blame him? No. I never blamed him. This is absolutely not his fault. Not at all.
    Fair enough - I read your post as the kid himself might have:

    "If he were a *better* kid - he would not still be alone."

    The circumstances and the system are likely to be 95% of his problem....no matter how inherently *good* or easy, or likeable a kid is...finding an adoptive home as a teenager is not going to be easy. I do wonder how long he has been "available" for adoption. Sad situation.


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  10. #50
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    He's made the daily mail uk website! Good for him! Maybe someone will now take a chance. Black kids don't get adopted. There are many good black kids out there who will never have parents. The picture of him when he was 7 is totally cool.

    Who was the black girl who won a state title in the Miss America contest a few years ago? She'd been in foster care for years. You don't have to be "good" to get adopted, you just have to be white. As for growing up in a bad environment making you "bad," that is not always true. I had kids in the projects who turned in their own fathers for having sex with siblings, and had kids who saved some of the money i gave them to buy presents for their totally worthless parents. (I'd have spent all the money for christmas on myself, but those kids saved money to buy gifts for their parents and siblings.) I had kids stand up and testify as witnesses to crimes in the projects, kids knowing I could not protect them 24/7. Do kids from foster homes have to overcome al lot? Yes. Are they all "troubled," more so than kids who grow up with parents who fight or do bad things? No. It's all relative.


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  11. #51
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    I know it's Hollywood but a true story and a good story. It could happen again.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0878804/
    Let us ride together; blowing mane and hair; careless of the weather; miles ahead of care...Fat Cat Farm Sport Horses



  12. #52
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    Fatcat, that story was true and was on the news long before the movie. Lucky kid that his coach loved him. Lucky family that they got a son and brother and family member in the deep South, ignoring the color of his skin. While he had had a good family, he was left alone and his coach and coach's wife and kids all stepped up and did the right thing to help him. What they got back was more than what they gave to him.

    And all that should be present tense since they are still a family.



  13. #53
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    like I said, perhaps he is a diamond in the rough and he's not been adopted because someone couldn't see it. I hope that is the case. The kids I deal with (and the ones my son deals with), are not diamonds in the rough. They are kids who make poor decisions over and over.



  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by S1969 View Post
    Fair enough - I read your post as the kid himself might have:

    "If he were a *better* kid - he would not still be alone."

    The circumstances and the system are likely to be 95% of his problem....no matter how inherently *good* or easy, or likeable a kid is...finding an adoptive home as a teenager is not going to be easy. I do wonder how long he has been "available" for adoption. Sad situation.
    I must have presented that very wrong. That is not what I meant, many of these kids start out as newborns WAY behind the 8 ball with addictions and lack of good nurturing from foster homes that are not well educated. That is not their fault. Even without those issues, growing up without a stable base (as being shuffled from foster home to foster home for various reasons), could project the image that he is not a good adoption candidate. Again not his fault. If he has an anger management issue, as stated in the article, many people do not understand how to modify that appropriately and so his file may have items in it that frighten potential adopters away. All of these things would make him a diamond in the rough. On the other hand he may have issues that cannot be resolved or he refuses to work on even when presented with options. I don't know, as the only information we have to go on is very limited.



  15. #55
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    I am a foster parent of teenage boys just like Davion, I've had close to 30 just like him, and I seriously considered calling about him. What stopped me calling is that there are so many kids in my State just like him, and he's getting so much exposure, I really hope that one of those 300 calls comes through for him.


    It's so rewarding when kids make the change that it would appear Davion has. It really is just the best possible thing to experience, as you watch it happen. I am quite sure that info has been left out of the article to make it more appealing, however that is the correct thing to do, he's a minor and all of the details of his life don't need to be put out there like that.

    As far as someone in his life seeing a diamond in the rough and offering to adopt him. His mother only just passed away, so it's more than likely that he would not have been available for adoption.
    I've had plenty of kids who turned around their lives and now are delightful young men. Not once, ever has a teacher or anyone else contacted me about adopting them, not that they were available for it anyway.
    I think it's a fairy tale to think that there's all these good people sitting around watching troubled teens and ready to take them in. There's so few foster homes who will take teens, and even fewer people who would adopt a teen.

    With so many calls about Davion, I really hope that they will select a home with some experience so he can stay on track and do great things with his life.


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  16. #56
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    I admire Davion for recognizing the need for personal improvement. I could see how he might have been holding out hope to be reconciled with his mom, which can be portrayed as a magical solve-it-all solution if you watch a lot of Lifetime movies. When he learned she had died, he made the decision to work on himself.

    I am a foster parent of teenage boys just like Davion, I've had close to 30 just like him, and I seriously considered calling about him. What stopped me calling is that there are so many kids in my State just like him, and he's getting so much exposure, I really hope that one of those 300 calls comes through for him.
    I hope some of those callers perhaps investigate becoming foster parents or adopting another child who is waiting for a family.
    "Let's face it -- Beezie Madden is NOT looking over her shoulder for me anytime
    soon . . . or ever, even in her worst nightmares."


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  17. #57
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    I have been an attorney for CPS and APS in Arkansas for over 20 years. I can't really comment on this young man because I don't know his case but I would like to clear up some misconceptions about the foster care system in general. CPS laws and policy vary some from state to state, but because most of them recieve the majority of their funding from the Feds through a program called IV-E, and the Feds have certain requirements that must be met, there are similarities in state programs.

    In the very early days of foster care, families were held to a middle class standard. Very often, children were removed from their parents because of poverty or because it was a single parent household with no family help. They were often raised in orphanages. Then studies began to show that children did better in a family setting so foster families came into being. Studies also showed that children did better in their biological families so family preservation became the goal. While this is an admirable goal, it also resulted in children being bounced from foster home to foster home until they were past the optimum age for adoption while social workers tried to work with hopeless parents. Now the focus is on permanency, getting kids in a permanent, stable home as soon as possible. So now parents have a finite time, normally a year, to correct their problems and get their kids back. Social workers are required to have a back up plan to provide a permanent home for kids should the parents fail to complete their case plan. This can be placement with a relative, adoption or in the case of older kids, independence. So most kids, if they come into foster care at an early age, are usually in some sort of permanent home approximately a year after they come into care. However, I have known a few kids whose behavior problems were so severe even as young as 3, that they were never able to be adopted despite the best efforts of the adoption case workers. These kids are rare but scary. Generally these kids came from families with a history of mental illness so I have to believe they were genetically doomed from the beginning.

    Older kids and teens are a different story. Its hard to find foster families that will take teens so many of them wind up in group homes. Its also harder to find adoptive homes for teens because most people want a cute little baby that they can mold rather than a teen who already has his/her own personality. Then there is the misconception that all teens that come into foster care have severe behavioral issues. Some do, some don't. I think all of them do have some adjustment issues at first but a lot of them are able to adapt into a family. I have seen some great older kids and teens that I would take home in a minute. Sure there may be some adjustment issues that have to be dealt with but on the other hand, there are no dirty diapers and they can feed and clothe themselves.

    My advice, if you are considering adopting an older kid, take the time to get to know the kid you are interested in. Don't let anyone rush you into it. As C&C says, there are other ways you can help kids in need too. Become a CASA, be a tutor or visiting resource who can take a kid to the movies or into your home for the holidays. There is nothing sadder to me than the kid who has no one at holiday time. Every other kid is going for a home visit or to stay with relatives but there are always a few that have no one.


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  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2horseygirls View Post
    I admire Davion for recognizing the need for personal improvement. I could see how he might have been holding out hope to be reconciled with his mom, which can be portrayed as a magical solve-it-all solution if you watch a lot of Lifetime movies. When he learned she had died, he made the decision to work on himself.



    I hope some of those callers perhaps investigate becoming foster parents or adopting another child who is waiting for a family.
    Every kid I have had thinks that when/if they go home, their parents will be different and things will be perfect. I've not known that to happen yet.

    It would be wonderful if some of those callers would consider that. I fear that they want Davion as he's changed his life around, and that takes time and a lot of work to get kids to that point. Many don't manage it at all, and end up in the adult system.
    It would be a pretty easy job if they were all at the point he's at.


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  19. #59
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    Nice update:

    http://gma.yahoo.com/florida-orphans...opstories.html

    Granted, nothing's definite and it will take at least six months to go through the adoption process, but it's heartwarming to see that the agency got 10,000 inquiries sparked by his plea. Davion should be proud that he was able to generate that much of a response. And some of those people may well end up adopting other children, so Davion may have assisted those kids in finding homes of their own.
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