My Brothers

February 12, 2008
By Katlyn Webber, Hammondsport, NY

My family started doing foster care when I was 7 years old. Since then, we have adopted 2 boys from different parents. My one brother's mom was retarded, autistic, and other stuff too. We were the only ones who would take care of him. His mom said that the only way she would stop fighting to get him back was if we, and no one else would adopt him. And that's what we did. Little did we know he had more problems than we could handle. We got him when he was 3 years old. He is 9 years old now. Over this past summer he was taken to the hospital because he had been eating staples, and plaster off from walls at his special school. The truth is even the "professionals” can't handle him.
After he was out of the hospital, he was sent to a mental hospital three hours away. Every weekend we would travel to the "Ronald Mc Donald house", and visit him in a supervised, and locked room. Kyle has Autism, ADHD, many behavior problems, Assburgers (a form of autism), Reactive Attachment Disorder, ADD, and a lot more than I can remember. At this time he is in a diagnostic unit in Binghamton. Which is 2 hour away from us. Luckily we can take him out of there for visits. Every other weekend, we take him either to see a movie, go to “chucky cheese”. On vacations we take him home. As he has gotten older, he gets worse, and worse with his problems, mainly his behavior problems. This puts so much stress in my life. As he gets older, we become less, and less able to control him. The diagnostic unit he is in right now only takes kids for 90 days, and my brother is way past that. They the staff there are “professionals”, and they cannot handle my brother very well. Do you want to no the dead honest truth? The dead honest truth is that the diagnostic unit is starting to not want him there because he’s too hard to handle, and they say they need beds for more kids, and they want us to take him home for good, when they know that he, nor we as a family are capable for having him here full time. This is so hard on us because every permanent mental home we have tried is not able to care for him because he has more disorders, and behaviors than they are trained to handle. Also, right now our county, and school paying the very high amount it takes to house him in that unit he is in. This puts so much stress on our lives because he can’t be let out of your site for a minute; he has to constantly be watched. Outside of his door in the diagnostic unit, there is always a staff member keeping a close eye on everything he does. At some point in his he won’t be even able to come home because he could seriously hurt someone, or himself. It is so sad because my brother doesn’t learn lessons, not even small ones. One time we were at a campsite, and my brothers touched a hot stick, both said “ouch!” Then my dad asked them if they would touch it again, and my one brother said that he would touch it again, walked over and touched it again. We live on the main street in our town. If my brother was playing with a ball, and it went in the road, he would run into the busy street after it. He actually almost did one time, but I ran outside quickly, and grabbed him away from the street. I constantly wonder if we will ever find a permanent mental institute, where they can handle him. Right now some people at the diagnostic unit are suggesting putting him in foster care again just to get him out of there. That would be the dumbest thing I have ever heard! I told you about two things that are very important to the point I am making. They are that my brother’s birth mother only surrendered her custody of him to us, and only us. The other is that we were the only one that would handle him. The most important aspect in my point is that my brother would be loosing the family he has known since he was 3 years old!!! Do you know what I mean about that being the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard now? Love my brother so much and I want the absolute best for him. That includes the place where he will, in the future, live. I want him to be able to be taken care of by the professionals that truly can handle him, and I hope it can be near us, and not in another state, or far away. I hope we can find a place like that for him because I love him so much, and I hope we can find a place that fits his needs, and last I want to have him so he isn’t moved from place to place. Finally, I wish that I could know that He is in a place where they can handle him, and not have to worry or think about if he is running off the campus, or out of control. Most of all I wish that I did not have to think of the tears that fall from his face when we take him back to the diagnostic unit because he doesn’t know why he has to live there, and not with us. I miss him all the time, and I wish he were able to live at home. That is the wish that I wish the most! I just want the best for him. Every time I think about how he will never live a normal, or even semi normal life with his family, I cry. I cry because I miss him, I love him, he has to live with staff, and doesn’t live with us, and even as I write this, my eyes are tearing. My sick sibling is my brother and I love him so much!

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