Thursday, July 7, 2011


After having said no to the last two phone calls I received asking me if I would be willing to take new foster children, I have been bummed out about all the reasons behind why I have been saying no.

These two calls are the only calls I have ever said no to. Every other call I have said yes, or I think there was one where I said "no, but call me back if you can't place them". Even though I said yes to all of them, some of them never came because things didn't work out.

I miss saying yes to everyone.

I miss being excited about getting a call and saying YES and bringing my kids home.

BUT I know too much now. I remember how hard it was to even bring an almost 4 year old here and, bless his heart, he drove me CRAZY for 8 months straight. When I thought that him leaving might be postponed I CRIED. It did not get postponed, and on the day he left I surprised myself by crying (out of sadness, not relief as I thought I would). He was my very first one to leave. It was a "happy ending"-he got a WONDERFUL family, but our family still grieved in it's own way. My son (who never got along with him) "missed" him, Sabrina missed him terribly because he was her every day play mate that she liked to boss around, and I missed him just because I was used to him being here. It is funny how you tend to forget the bad once it walks out your door. You can feel the heaviness of the stress leave your house...but, you still miss the little person with the huge (sometimes devious) smile.

I also don't like that I am making decisions based on Lizzy's behavior. Surprisingly, my husband asked me "Why did you say no to the three year old?" I thought that he didn't want kids that old, but I forget that we both go back and forth on things like that. I told him that I couldn't deal with Lizzy and anyone else her age if the screaming is going to start again. Obviously, she may react differently to a child other than Tina, but if she doesn't I am going to be in a ROUGH spot.

If you couldn't tell, even when I want to, I don't move kids. I guess that it would have to be worse than anything I have endured so far. I think it is based on my lack of being able to help them in other ways, saving them from one extra move is sometimes the only thing I have to give them. I get so little say in everything else, it literally feels like all I have to offer.

I wish I could go back to that really excited "new" foster parent that I was two years ago. The one who was excited about adopting. The one that didn't know kids would go home even if there was proof they were being sexually abused there. The one who wasn't scared of three year olds with RAD. The one who didn't see two of her baby girls go home to a mom who did nothing for six months. The one who hadn't decided yet to not adopt a little boy because she thought he had autism. The one who didn't know she wouldn't want to adopt EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. - because she thought she WOULD want to adopt them all.

I think that has been my hardest lesson. I never thought I would have the option of adopting a child and then opt not too.

I never thought that would happen.


Andrea said...

So I've been following for awhile. I've also been a foster mom for two years. (in August). You've probably already posted why you don't want to adopt. Do you mind if I ask what your thought process was? If you didn't post and it's personal, I'll mind my own business. :) I'm just curious, I know a few others who are "foster" only not "foster-to-adopt".

Diane said...

You are being smart and realistic. Foster parenting is temporary; adoption is forever. Your willingness to stick it out with your foster placements is to be commended. You don't have to adopt every one. You are doing an amazing job with the ones you have, loving them, advocating them, and giving them tools and memories (even if subconscious) for a lifetime. Keep up the good work, and know that when you need to say No, there is probably a better Yes around the corner!

Pipsylou said...

You'll know when it's right. You've actually given me a lot of courage to think really critically about adopting before jumping in.

Sarah K said...

It takes a lot of courage to open yourself up to heartbreak in order to love these kids for however long they are in your life: some maybe only a week or 2 and maybe some perhaps for a lifetime. It's wise to recognize how they affect us too. When we were youth leaders at church, it took us some time to realize how one girl with a dramatic situation was actually stealing our investment in other kids who were more receptive. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You have a gift for articulating what a lot of us are struggling with!