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You Could Always Adopt. . .

Adopted 3 boys out of foster care, then got pregnant for my beautiful daughter, now currently pregnant again with twins.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

How to Respond?

I had such a nice post in mind about things I learned from Scooter, but then I received this comment:

From reading her blog, it does seem that she thinks every foster child will become legally free and hers. Its not like that. Her job as a foster parent is not to become their new mommy, but to act as a safe, caring place, until the child can return home.

I appreciate the well meaning honesty, but let me defend myself.

No, I do not think that every child will become freed for adoption and mine, but I do hope to build my family through adoption through foster care. I left out many details of Scooter's case that I learned from the caseworker which led me to believe he would be in foster care long term and that the dad was not expected to pass his homestudy.

Anyway, yesterday Scooter went home, with nothing completed that was ordered at the last court hearing. His attorney did not show up. If they were not gonna make him complete what was ordered by the court, why did they keep him in care a month rather than simply signing over custody at the 72 hour hearing. It was wrong to the child!

Since I got Scooter, I prayed that he quickly be placed in a permanent home that would be in HIS best interest. If he was going home, I supported that, but I wanted it done quickly for his sake.

I was happy for him. I put aside my own sadness until his dad came collected his things and took him home. I said goodbye with a smile, and I really didn't cry much. I did feel a since of peace, like God was assuring me he would be happy and safe, and I care about Scooter, and that's all I wanted, was his happiness.

I'm tired of everyone telling me that I knew what I was getting into and knew it was temporary and that I should be happy for the child rather than sad. I am both. I am happy Scooter got to go home, but does that mean I have no right to grieve for my loss, for a day or two, after a child I loved and cared for left my care? Oh, right, it's not MY child, so I can't lose what never was mine to begin for?

My explanation may not be acceptable to some foster parents, but I know my heart, and I wanted what was best for him. I am not upset or mad that he went home, nor am I questioning the judge's ruling, I am simply grieving briefly for my loss, moving on and praying for Scooter's happiness.

Please be respectful to my commenter who wrote this. I don't want any disrespect shown towards her, I just wanted to explain myself. I hope to adopt, but I am educated enough to know that every child will not be freed for adoption.


  • At 6:59 AM, Blogger MJ said…

    Thanks for explaining, although you shouldnt have had to. Some of what that commenter said bothered me, only because I didnt think of you that way.

    I fully believe you gave your best to that child, whether or not he was going home and that is to be commended. And yes you have every right to grieve the loss.

    Hang in there!

  • At 7:28 AM, Blogger Lee said…

    I think it's awesome that you can give your whole heart to your children - not knowing how long they will be with you. It's an incredible gift for them and for you.
    I hope you find comfort even through your grief, and renewal to keep on loving each child that comes through your home.
    "whoever welcomes one of these little children in My name, welcomes me"
    (Mark 9:37)


  • At 7:52 AM, Blogger Julie said…

    I didn't see the comment but I know there are those who feel the need to tell us how to feel instead of just let us feel. Fostering is bittersweet. The children need for us to give our hearts to them as if they were ours but it is hard for us to just check out when they leave. We aren't "those" kind of foster parents. We aren't just in it for the money and the glory. (you know there is so much of both!!) We do love these kids and with love comes pain. When Scooter left it was shocking and it will take a few days to get over the loss- Let yourself take whatever time you need. Don't let loose comments get you down. We know what we signed up for but we also have hearts and feelings.

  • At 8:05 AM, Blogger Heather said…

    At this point in my life, there is no way I could foster. I wouldn't be able to handle letting them go.

    If I remember correctly, you did talk quite a bit about him returning to his family - that was the plan. I didn't get the feeling you thought you were going to adopt him.

    He was a child that needed love and you gave that to him. Thinking he would be with you for a while and bonding with him and then having him removed from you suddenly has to be hard. I can't imagine.

    I don't think you needed to explain yourself. Anyone who really read what you wrote understood.

  • At 8:17 AM, Blogger ABlessedFamily said…

    I understand how you felt/feel about Scooter and that is what makes you a good foster parent. I once had a social worker stand in court and say that I shouldn't have allowed my foster daughter to get attached to me...she was with me 6 MONTHS!! Aren't we supposed to love them as our own & make them feel as if they are a REAL member of our family!!!
    Keep loving them...Love them with your whole heart...if only for a day, a week, or a month, they will feel loved...and pray for them for the rest of your life!
    You are doing a good thing...a VERY hard job...just do your best and know that it doesn't matter what others think...God knows your heart!

  • At 9:15 AM, Blogger chris said…

    I didn't get that from you at all. You seemed pretty straightforward about the fact that Scooter was eventually going to be placed elsewhere, most likely with his dad. I think you've been really respectful and decent all around.

    I'm sorry you're hurting right now. You have every right to feel that way.

    Take care.

  • At 9:37 AM, Blogger Lisa said…

    I am a former foster child and current child advocate...

    Oftentimes foster parents are viewed under a lens of hyperbole -- that is to say that they are viewed as either saints or sinners.

    Most foster parents are simply ordinary people who are trying to accomplish an extraordinary thing by taking in a child that is not their own, not knowing how long that relationship will last..

    Of course you have the right to grieve when/if a foster child is taken from your home.

    If not, that would be a sign that you had never opened your heart to the child in the first place.

    When I was in foster care, most older children were housed in group homes due to lack of available foster homes for teenagers.

    Group homes weren't all bad. However, I will say that I always knew that the houseparents were just staff being paid to take care of me. I was no more or less special or important to them than anyone else.

    When I left, did anyone miss me? Because I would have preferred to think that someone did...

    Keeping your heart open is a brave and wonderful thing to do,

  • At 9:39 AM, Blogger Lisa said…

    Two quotes about vulnerability from a fantastic book:

    Quotes about VULNERABILITY
    “I’ve seen people knocked right back on their heels at some of Anna’s comments. It wasn’t that her remarks were all that clever and penetrating, it was just that she made herself so vulnerable.

    That was a trick she had learned; make people hesitate by any means you have at your disposal, fair or foul.And Anna was not above using tricks if they achieve her aim. Make people hesitate and your remarks have a better chance of being looked at, being seen again.

    I suppose, on the whole I didn’t do too badly, considering. I didn’t give up without a struggle. Letting your soul, or whatever fancy name you give it, out of its cage and into the daylight is perhaps the hardest thing anyone can do.” – Fynn, Mr. God, This is Anna

    “The boarding down on Broadway displayed in large red lettering: ‘DO YOU WANT TO BE SAVED?’ I wondered just how many people would say yes to that.

    Had it read, ‘DO YOU WANT TO BE SAFE?’ millions of people would have said, “Yes, yes, yes, we want to be safe,” and another barricade would have gone up.

    The soul is imprisoned, protected. Nothing can get in to hurt it, but then it can’t get out either.Being ‘saved’ has nothing to do with being ‘safe.’ Being saved is seeing yourself clearly – no bits of colored glass, no protection, no hiding – simply seeing yourself.

    Anna never said anything about being saved, never to my knowledge attempted to save anybody. I don’t suppose she would have understood this way of putting things, for this was my interpretation.

    But Anna knew full well that it was no use playing things safe; you simply had to ‘come outside’ if you wanted to make progress. Coming outside was dangerous, very dangerous, but it had to be done; there was no other way.” - Fynn, Mr. God, This is Anna

  • At 11:15 AM, Blogger TeamWinks said…

    You have every right to grieve. In my opinion, you have a HUGE heart. To me, it is the same as a failed infertility cycle, a birthmother deciding to parent, a country closing their adoption program, etc. We all would be sad if those things happened. Hang in there. Keep your chin up.

  • At 6:51 PM, Blogger GLouise said…

    I don't think you need to explain yourself. I don't think anyone necessarily disagrees with information inside the poster's first comment, but it came off as a bit "preachy." You are obviously aware of the risks of opening your heart to these little ones.
    And of course, sometimes the Internet doesn't do a very good job of helping us see the "tone" in everyone's comment. I am giving the poster the benefit of the doubt, but it did come of as a bit sanctimonious :-)

  • At 8:42 PM, Blogger Mud Pie said…

    My childhood babysitter was a foster parent for adopted newborns. Back then they would place the babies with a foster parent until the adoption was final. The first one she had for a few months before the baby was placed with his new parents. When he left it was like losing one of her own. She cried for a month.

    Her husband was surprised when she said she was ready to do it again. She mourned each time, but over the years she loved many newborns. Her husband just prepared himself to see her depressed for a month or so.

    She ended up having a special place in the hearts of each adoptive family. When each child left, they left with a photo album with pictures of their first months and a box of keepsakes that she had bought them. Something the baby will have forever to know they were loved and prayed for by someone in their past.

    Hoping and praying that you'll be blessed with a child you can keep forever very soon. Let yourself grieve. Your heart may hurt, but it's just getting stretch marks ;o)

  • At 1:27 PM, Blogger Tamara said…

    Lisa hun, you and I both know we MUST grieve. We grieve because we truly and deeply loved and cared for these children as our own. You didn't need to explain yourself to me :). I second Glouise. If we didn't grieve when a child left, I'd worry about us. I might even suggest we were foster parents for the wrong reasons if we didn't. I'm shocked they just returned him with the snap of a finger, but then again, so much of our judicial system continues to amaze me in a most UNIMPRESSIVE way, if you get my drift. We must also remember we are NOT the ordinary foster parents - we are pre-adoptive, and as such we are a different type of home altogether. Ugh.

  • At 7:47 PM, Blogger Amanda said…

    Thank you for verbalizing exactly what I've been struggling with. I have a very similar situation with my first foster placement. It is now very clear that he will be going home.

    There is no way I will not be sad when he leaves. Frankly I would worry about the quality of care provided by anyone who had a child for more than a few days and wasn't incredibly sad when they left. It's our job to love them, for whatever time we have them. And if you really love them, then it will really hurt when they leave.


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