Tuesday, March 13, 2007

What does it mean?

Yesterday morning, after Miss E lied to me, I emailed Marsha and SW and told them what happened. The social worker called the school and confirmed that she never showed. She in turn talked to both Marsha and her husband.

Everyone is very appreciative of my email as they had "no idea at all" that she was AWOL.

Now I am trying to get my head around this.

It is clear that Miss E did not sleep at home. There is no way that she left the house prior to 6:30am. So she wasn't at home when they went to bed. She also did not get up, walk downstairs to get into my car, while Marsha was busily getting the rest of the kids ready for school.

Now the second part I get. Miss E has been climbing out of bed after I call her from the driveway. I suspect that Marsha often does not see her during the 60-120 seconds she between her bedroom and the front door. (I'm including time to go to the restroom and to collect the P*p T*rt she usually brings out with her -- although she could keep the pastries in her room).

It also means though that they were unaware that she had not come home the night before.

I'm not necessarily criticizing here. I mean, it might be this sort of hands-off, uninvolved treatment that Miss E needs to stay in a home. Just letting her come and go as she pleases, given that her history is one of very good attendance at school, track, and work, might be the right idea.

But still, it seems so strange.

If I had a teenager not come home before I went to bed, I would do a bed check in the morning to make certain he or she made it back.

If they just don't have a curfew it might explain why it is that Miss E is exhausted every single morning since she moved. Although other explanations are possible too. It might be that as emancipation gets closer she is having more trouble sleeping. I had had to wake her up a couple times while she was still at Annabelle's.

My first gut response is to think that the parents are not doing their job. I mean they didn't know she hadn't come home at all. On the other hand I am always saying that it is not fair that privileged kids get to go to college and live in dorms where they have this halfway house between childhood and adulthood, and other kids, especially foster kids don't. For foster kids it tends to be intense supervision followed by total independence. So maybe this is exactly what she needs.


  1. Yikes...even with a 'hands off' approach I would think it's still important that they know when the kid isn't even THERE. What happens if she runs away, or something happens to her?? How long would it take them to notice??

  2. I agree with hope4future. This is not good. The FP's definitely need to be supervising at least at the level of knowing whether she is coming home at night. The only possible responsible explanation I can think of is that she had told them she was spending the night elsewhere (somewhere she is allowed to stay), so they weren't expecting to see her again until after school the next day.

    When my kids (18 and 19) are still out when I go to bed, I set my alarm for the latest I think they will be home (1 or 2am, usually), so that if they don't come home, I will wake up and know that they are not there and can take appropriate action. I don't know if that's unreasonable, or if other parents do that, or what. One of my kids is in college, but living at home, and I still want to know if she makes it home safely at night.

  3. Hi, I just added your blog. We adopted from foster care a few years ago.

    I can't really pass judgement on a situation I don't know but this does seem too lax.

    I moved back home after college and my folks said, sorry you've got a curfew because we don't want the inside locks left undone past midnight. Their master was downstairs and close to the door, so they'd know when I came in - but I was to add the inside lock when I came home, so they would know immediately if I wasn't home.

    Even if she is behaving completely, you should know where your child is in case they have an emergency - like a car wreck where she can't call.


  4. It might help if I was smart enough to post the right address for my blog adoptiveparenting.wordpress.com

  5. When my 23-year-old is home, he has to let me know by 10 p.m. if he's going to out past midnight. Maybe Miss E is sneaking out after the foster family think she's in bed? I mean, there's hands-off and then there's no hands. Seems a bit too lax, especially for a teen.

  6. Yeah, that seems a little too lax for me. But maybe that's because I can't imagine being able to take that much of a hands off approach.

    Which probably means I'm not what Miss E. needs. Shrug.


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