Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas.

My first experience with Christmas and Foster care was devastating to me...at the time.

Sabrina was granted her first unsupervised visit with her mom ON Christmas. Not only was it her first unsupervised visit, it was for TWO over nights, the night before Christmas and Christmas night.

Oh how I cried. I just didn't see it coming at all. I thought because she had NEVER had an unsupervised visit that the court would not do that, but they did.

From what I have seen where I live, the courts seem to let the sentiment of the holiday perhaps skew their view of what is safe and what is not. They seem to think that because it is Christmas "it will be fine". In retrospect, I am glad that Sabrina got to be with her mom on Christmas ONLY because she WAS eventually returned to her, 8 months after wards to be exact.

Was it a "safe" decision? I don't think so.

Was it a "Christmas miracle" for that family? I think it may have been.

Looking back it is easier to think that it wasn't the worst decision that the court could have made, but on the other hand, it has made me VERY scared of the decisions that the courts make around the holidays.

For example, there is NO reason why Lizzy would have a visit on Christmas with ANYONE...but, I still worry that somehow it would get granted if someone asked for one just because of the holidays. I wasn't planning on going to the next court hearing (Dec. 15), but now I am pretty sure I will just to make sure I am there to speak up if that comes up at ALL.

What have your Christmas experiences been with foster care?


*Today is the dreaded visit day. Mom claims she has to work (yeah, I bet) and Legal dad is coming because court is right around the corner. I am trying to remind myself that this is foster care still, but I am so mad that he is doing this. :(

*Today's visit didn't happen. The agency's transportation drove an HOUR to go pick up Legal dad...and he never showed up. I guess he later called and said he had the time mixed up. The social worker was NOT happy and didn't accept his excuse. The visit was cancelled.
Mom was a no call no show, according to the agency because she refuses to call THEM and not just me. Mom did call me and left me a voice mail that sounded like she was still in bed.

To the social worker's credit, she called me before I left the house to come to the visit, which I thanked her for several times.

The excitement never ends!

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for doing Foster Care. I had foster babies in the past. I love the truth and honesty in your posts; wish more people could hear it.
In CA, where I am, the focus is totally on 'returning the child to the birth family' without considering the safety of the child. The child is seen as an object to be used for rewarding the birth parents for thinking about changing life choices. Part of this is mental holdovers of children and wives as possessions, Not living beings.
As a nation we get more upset about dogs and cats being abused than about child abuse; pre and post natal.
I heard over and over about 'Giving the parents a 2nd chance' NEVER about 'Giving the CHILD a FIRST Chance'.
I knew birth parents who worked and deserved to regain custody. I knew babies who would never be safe in their birth parent's homes/'care'; but went there anyway.
I head social workers talk about getting the child to an age where they could "survive the neglect" of their parent" ... a hell of an objective.
I saw babies return from unsupervised overnight visits totally traumatized and heard social workers say: "But we don't know anything wrong happened because babies can't say, and we will not use behavioral clues"..... Because when the baby screams and cries when seeing the birth parent and struggles to get to or not leave the foster parent; or the baby returns dazed and without a voice sitting in a very dirty diaper wearing stale food crusted clothes we 'cannot tell that the visit wasn't wonderful for the baby'! Babies are generally smart and DO tell us if we choose to have eyes to see when they are hungry or tired or ... do NOT like a person!
I read your blog every day. I send you and your babies good wishes always. Maybe some day as a nation we will really and truly care for and about our children. Maybe we will admit that declining rates of children in foster care in the SanFrancisco area does not mean that there is less abuse in this time of recession, job and home loss ... but that more children are now left to be abused and damaged or die.
At 70 I can no longer take foster babies.... but I continue to care and appreciate every person who does it right.
May your days be filled with joy and your children be safe and the hope of being a safe nation and world for children someday come true.
Thank you for sharing your truth and caring for the children who will be our future.

MamaFoster said...

thank you. your words could not have come at a better time. i see not much has changed since you did foster care...except it probably has gotten more pro parental rights I suppose.

Debbie said...

Hopefully their continued no shows will help them not be granted an overnight or Christmas visit.
Will be praying for the 15th to bring good things for Lizzy.

Endless Love ~ Amazing Grace said...

Glad you atleast found out before you left the house. We have court Dec 16 for Carrot Top.