Thursday, July 26, 2012

Honest.

Let's be honest. If you knew what you were getting into when you first thought "Hey, maybe we should foster!" you never would have done it.

Now, I'm not talking about your beautiful kids. I am taking about the hurt that surrounds them that you never knew you would take on as your own. I'm talking about the endless worry until they were permanently in a home that you knew was safe for them.

As it turns out, I don't scare as easily as I should...and as soon as I was far enough in to know just how scared I should be I had already fallen in love with a little person (or 3) and it was too late to run away.

I think this is exactly what the reason behind most people not fostering. They are scared...maybe a tad selfish too if I am going to go ahead and lay it all out there today.

I had reasons though. Not saintly reasons, but I did want to help a child and I did want to adopt. So, I didn't let the horror stories (which are true) scare me off. I dove in and acted like none of it would happen to us.



Of course we would be one of the ones who would get to adopt our first placement.

Except we weren't.

Of course if one of our kids shouldn't go home they wouldn't.

Except they did.

Of course we would be able to protect our kids.

Except we weren't allowed to.




From what I can tell I just wasn't smart enough to NOT foster. I don't scare easily enough I suppose.

I also would do it all over again. (apparently the smartness never kicked in)

Regardless of all the horribleness the kids are still there. The system isn't just broken, it is evil and backwards. There is not much that I believe more than that. The courts have to purposefully endanger the child all over again just to prove the parent should not parent.

When will we stop giving chances to people who just barely didn't manage to kill their children.

I would love to know.

When will "the system" stop tell good foster homes we are "too attached"? If ever I wanted to punch someone in the face it would be when that comment came out of their mouth.

We were a happy little family of three. There was minimal drama in our lives. No divorce or children from other people...it sure is interesting to see what it is like to share your child with another set of parents. But, we wanted more. We wanted to "save a child" (don't worry, I have come to realize that we are not saviors).

We have gained 3 little people that are either still here or that we are getting to watch grow up.



And regardless of what I should have been scared of, well, I'm glad I wasn't.

9 comments:

StarfishMom said...

How many times have I heard the comment..."I could never do what you do..."???

Debbie said...

Amen!

I am so tired of being told I'm a saint for what we're doing. If they only knew I'd run away if I could but I can't. Would break my heart to walk away from the hurting children right now.

Carol said...

Because of our feelings about those "I couldn't give them up" comments from people, I recently posted the following on facebook.

If you have ever said to a foster parent, "I couldn't do foster care, cause I couldn't give them up." Or if you are a foster parent who knows the pain like no other pain of giving up a child to be returned to an unknown future in a questionable at best home after you have loved them like your own for months or even years, here is Katie Davis's answer. (Katie is a young girl from an upscale suburb of Nashville who at the age of 18 turned her back on all of her affluence and comfort and moved to Uganda. She has by now, just 5 years later, as a single mom, adopted 13 Ugandan girls. She feeds the hungry by the thousands. She has taken in children and had to let them go) This is what she has to say on the subject in her book, "Kisses from Katie." "Why? .. For Jesus. Because He called me to this and because He gave His life for me. This means that it has been granted to me, it is my privilege, not only to believe in Him but to suffer for Him. (see Philipians 1:29) The suffering is not alone, but with Him, and oh what a privilege it is to be with my sweet Savior. This is what I mean when I say I do it for Jesus. He loved me first and I love Him back. AND SOMETIMES IT HURTS. ... He sees ... He knows ... He is here with us."

NotACabaret said...

I am glad you weren't scared, because your story touches me. Not because I believe you are a saint, but because you handle everything you can as best you can, in a genuine way. You overcome the pain as best you can to carry on, because it's right to do so. Your children love you, and you love all of them, even when they aren't with you anymore.

Rebecca said...

Yes, fostering is hard.

No, it doesn't get easier the longer you do it.

Yes the system is broken.

No, we can't fix it.

Yes, it's worth all the drama and heartache if we make a difference in the life of one child.

Beautifully real post!

Anonymous said...

I am proud of you for what you do. I did fostering for many years, then adopted 2 girls. We were lied to about their problems, disabilities. The adoption was ended, the hurt/damage done conitnues 15 yrs later. I will never foster again thru the system. I do take in kids privately and that is painful too as they all leave when the parent pulls their life togeter. Keep doing what you are doing but be careful that the ones you birthed are not hurt in the process. That is my greatest regret in life.

Mie said...

Hey I'm with ya. I can't fix the world but it doesn't mean I shouldn't do what I can. I can't sit back and be comfortable in my own happy home selfishly choosing the easy life because I'm afraid (rightfully so) of disrupting my comfy life. It is work. It is hard. It is biting your tongue sometimes and threatening to punch someone in the face (figuratively or literally) other times.

Anonymous said...

I fostered until my health meant I couldn't any longer (old age is real) at that point I did 'foster grandmother' duty for a foster mother with premature identical baby girls; often one at home and one in the hospital.
Every baby deserves to be held lovingly and given more attention than is possible in a busy hospital by staff no matter how hard staff is trying. No baby should die alone or be alone in pain and fear.
Every baby deserves a loving safe home.
Every baby deserves a FIRST CHANCE before their parents get a second or 6th chance; because the parent's first chance was prenatal.
Fostering is pain filled, needing a foster home is pain filled.
GOOD foster families are needed all over this country, and are not valued and supported as they should be by our government.
My state is so excited that referrals to foster care are down during this time of economic trouble. I do not believe people are using fewer drugs and less alcohol and being less abusive to others than when money was more flush and jobs easier to find. Instead states are risking the lives and safety of babies and children to contain costs, in part because babies cannot defend themselves or tell, verbally, about their treatment.
Everything current foster mothers are seeing and doing is such an act of love and giving.
Our society does not value what you do ... but I do. So thank you all for trying to save our children; they are our future.

fosterfull said...

If I knew what I was getting into, a good part of me would have run screaming in the other direction... You are right.

And yet... The past two years have made a real difference in the lives of two little boys and their families. The past two years have taught me so much about myself and my faith. The past two years have shaped my marriage. The past two years have made us a family. I can't take them back, and I wouldn't.

Now that we've finalized and we have no foster kids whatsoever? I don't know how we'll move forward. But you are right, the kids are still in need, and I still care. Whether we foster or I CASA, this problem is not going away, and neither is my love for the kids who come dead last in a horribly backwards system.