Adoptive Parent Nicole is Rock in the Surf: I was eleven years old. My best friend lived in a family home. I decided I wanted eight or ten children. Also foster care

Felsen MP Sebastian Dengens slides down the bench to the middle, ready to hear the experiences of this foster mom and project dad. She currently has eight children under her care: “Three are from my upbringing, I always say. Moreover, two sisters are 9 and 8 and two brothers and a sister are 6.5, and almost 4 and 10 months.”

A total of eleven adopted children lived with her for a short or longer period of time “and some children of emergency beds”. Children who come a few hours or a few days before they can go home to a crisis family or a foster family.

back bag

© Kenter’s photo to help young people

As a parent to Project Kenter and Willem Schrikker Groep (WSG), Nicole has children at home with a backpack heavier than the average adopted child. “They are not like most adopted children.” Parents of the project were created after the live groups ended at Kenter in Santpoort-Noord. Children with more serious problems cannot be cared for in a foster family. Specially trained and supervised foster parents now take care of these children and receive additional support. They are employed by the foster care organization. “It means I don’t have to work in addition to raising my children.”

“My” isn’t meant to be sweet, it certainly isn’t. “But they live here and they stay here. For me, placement only works if I can put the kids in my heart. Then I can fight for them.” For Nicole, there is no difference between biological children at home and adopted children. Everyone follows the same rhythm and the same rules. “It works precisely because I do the same thing with adopted children as I do with my own. I didn’t have to adapt much, it just works for me.” Her eldest daughter agrees. “Everyone is equal here.” She was 17 or 18 years old when the first adopted child came. “I can only imagine having kids in the house. It feels so natural.”

guy

I knew what she wanted from an early age. “I was eleven years old. My best friend lived in a family home (which is also a form of foster care, editor). At that time, I also decided I wanted eight or ten children. Also foster care, membership is not necessarily a necessity. I was I’d also like to adopt, but that was before I knew it was too expensive. But I knew early on: I want to be a mom. I’m not a gooey cookie and tea is waiting for the kids to come home. No cow dad.”

Stadsschouwburg Velsen in the green light for incubation week© Kenter’s photo to help young people

Brothers

Nicole is very clear about one thing. Brothers and sisters belong to each other, unless there is no other way at all. But in many foster families there is no place for that. “You belong together, so you are together. I don’t really want to tell a kid that he has a brother or a sister, but they live somewhere else. They can only see them once in a while by visiting them.”

For example, the two brothers of the family had a sister earlier this year. After her birth, she was already taken from her parents for her own safety. In a family in crisis, the girl waited for the judgment of the judge who will decide whether the parents will get another chance. “I can no longer take care of the children if I am not sure they will stay. I used to be able to. Parents are given opportunities and help and judges have to decide what is best, which can be stressful. I took it so badly. I almost drowned “. The judge ruled that the girl should grow up in a foster family and immediately opened Nicole’s door for her.

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Standards

For one or more reasons, children in a project family need more attention than other (adoptive) children. For example, most of Nicole’s children go to special education. “I don’t follow standards. Every development there is one. The hardest thing is the outside world. Explain to others how they should deal with children and why it is important to do this. These children have traumas, these children have lost love, attention and attachment problems. Hence the incompatibility with Infinity is very important.” What does it help? clarity.

© Kenter’s photo to help young people

Alderman hears everything. Nicole tells about the children’s past in great detail. “I can think about it, about everything they’ve been through. It also makes me sad sometimes. But you’re here and now. I show and repeat what I want the children to see and receive.” She explains that adoptive parents are also people of flesh and blood. “People sometimes think that the adoptive parent must be perfect. Everything in education must be sensitive to trauma. But sometimes I am just angry. And we have to swear and feel things.”

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to move the house

Is there any way the church can help her? Nicole is not getting a permit to renovate her listed home. So you prefer to “buy an old school shed or building.” “But I don’t have half a million. Then the kids can play and make all the noise they want to make.”

rock in waves

Dinjens takes out a box, Nicole laughs. “Is that the key there?” The fund contains the rock in a surf pin that is given out once a year to the community-committed Velsenaar. Who wants to express gratitude for her work for children. “Thank you for opening your heart and home.” Nicole was somewhat surprised, and took the pin. An hour before delivery, she was talkative with a dry, candid and honest sense of humor. It gave a clear picture of (adoptive) paternity. Now she is silent. “Beautiful. So much fun. If you do what works for you, you will never splinter.”

Nicole with her rock in a surf pin.© United Photos/Paul Fricker

50 children are waiting for a safe house in the boroughs of Kennemerland and Egmond

In the north of the Netherlands, 50 children and young people are waiting for a place in a foster family. They get help, but there is no family.

Adoptive caregivers Kenter Jeugdhulp, Levvel, Parlan and William Schrikker Gezinsvorm (WSG) together provide support in Northern Holland to nearly 500 foster families where more than 600 adopted children live.

In 2021, approximately 23,000 young people lived with adoptive parents for a short or longer period. There are about 900 children on the waiting list across the country. Shortages are an ongoing problem. There is a national need for 3,500 new foster families. There are currently just over 300 adopted children in Zuid-Kennemerland and IJmond. Twelve children are on the waiting list for a safe place.

Children are on the list for all forms of foster care: crisis foster care (acute and temporary care), part-time foster care (eg one or two weekends a month or a few days during the week) and full-time foster care.

Most children and young adults waiting for a suitable place are over 10 years old.

evening info

For more information, visit openjewereld.nu or the foster carers website.

On the evening of Thursday, November 10, Kenter, Levvel, Parlan, and the WSG are organizing a joint online information meeting on foster care.

For more information and registration see: openjewereld.nu/regio/noord-holland/

The Zandhaas are in the green light regarding incubation week.© Kenter’s photo to help young people

No more sibling breakup

Siblings who have been removed from home should stay together as much as possible. The House of Representatives wants to amend the law accordingly.

Children’s Defense believes that in the event of a major event such as placement in custody, it should be evaluated as a criterion as to whether it is in the best interests of brothers and sisters to be placed together. Children may not be separated from each other unless it is in the interest of (one of them). This evaluation moment is based on the principle “together, unless it is currently included in the law.

Due to the lack of foster families and family homes where brothers and sisters can come together, it is difficult to let the children grow up together. Therefore, it is not enough to change the law alone. There is a structural need for more reception families.

For more information, visit openjewereld.nu or the foster carers website.

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