The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Friday, August 15, 2008


One of the things that got me mad about the article in the Jewish Star about "Adopting Shmuel", was a reference to Shmuel's surprise when his adoptive parents did not leave him behind on vacation (in implied contrast to his uncaring foster parents who routinely did).

Anyone who has fostered a difficult child knows that this is hogwash.

The first year we fostered "Judah" and his brother, they came in August. By the time winter break came around, we, and especially our kids, were fried. The boys, four and five at the time, were unbelievably needy and taking care of the two of them (in addition to the three of our children who were still home) took everything out off us. We needed a break from the boys. Period.

We went to Israel for ten days to visit OOS. The boys went to another Ohel foster home for a respite.

Was that ideal? No.

Did we have a choice? I don't think so.

Could we have survived Judah and his brother bouncing off the walls of an airplane for 12 hours? Would it have been a vacation had we taken them along? I don't think so.

Instead, we came back refreshed, grateful from the break from the constant pressure and chaos that had become our home, and ready for more.

So, any implication that taking a break from foster kids is selfish or unkind is simply uninformed.



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