Monday, January 21, 2008

Cracking

There has been some chatter on other blogs about foster care issues, including motivation, kinship care, severance, and the rules. Although I have probably commented on each of these, I have been struggling with my own family and friends on some of these issues. Now I will rant about them a little bit here~

My parents are unable to understand that the boy will go to his grandmother. My father is the more vocal in his resistance, and frequently points out MGM already has a lot of her plate. Her home just burned down, she has three kids with her (baby's mom is her fourth but AWOL), she is a single parent, she is illegal, and the list would go on and on.

This is not at all uncommon; I heard this all before as a case manager.

It is hard to tell people that MGM should get him because she's family. Yes, she's struggling. Yes, he will take a monetary step down as she is a single parent. Yes, we could provide so much more to him in so many areas. Yes, she is his family and we are not.

All of this is so reasonable in my head. It's my heart that cries out BULLSHIT HE's MINE!!!

I also feel this enormous weight and there isn't even an ETA for him leaving yet. I am questioning more and more if I can continue this path of fostering. We are hoping to adopt here, so it is so difficult to fall in love with this little boy and then have him leave seven or so months later.
And yes, I knew this going into it. We took this route because I knew the system.
But as with everything, it's just not the same once you're all the way in it...
We talk about the next kids, but what if it's the same thing all over again. How many cracks can you make in a heart before it breaks?

I often think if we had our own children it would be easier because we wouldn't be looking so desperately for that family completion. When the boy leaves, the house is empty. And yet I know this is not the case as so many of the families I worked with grieved at the loss of their foster kids - right along side their biological children.

Needless to say I am feeling quite glum. I am working on this scrapbook for him to take, doing mental inventory of his things, sorting out what we will send and what we will keep for the next child/ren to come along. Trying to figure out how to convey all the things they will need to know so he is as understood as he is here. Where to tickle him. When to stop tickling. What that cry means, or that facial expression. The face I make when he's crying to make him laugh. The song I hum as I rock him when he's so sleepy he can't settle down.

There are no answers, really. I think that's what frustrates me the most. There is no right answer, no solution, no real words of comfort that will ease my pain. It just is what it is.

* I love accessories. Matching earrings, necklace, bracelet, purse, shoes. Of course, not so much at the moment as I am home all the time and the boy would try to eat any jewelry, but 'normally' I can't get enough.

13 comments:

Yondalla said...

Foster-adoption generally seems to be to be one of the worst ideas EVER, the only things that are worse are the available alternatives.

But there is something insane about asking people to work contrary to their motivation for getting involved.

And I know it hurts. It hurts in slow motion with no clear end in sight.

My Reality said...

I don't blame you for feeling this way. It is a hard thing to do. I just wish he didn't have to leave.

(can you email me with your address disenchantedreality at hotmail dot com, I don't have your email address)

Bea said...

It is difficult to understand, and difficult to go through. I'm glad you've given him a good start.

Bea

hope548 said...

I can't imagine falling in love with a child, only to have them removed from your life.

And I always admire people's accessories, but am not good at accessorizing myself!

Lauren said...

Unfortunately, things aren't always fair... not that it's any consolation. Like we've talked about before, infertility often strikes those who seem to deserve kids the most while those who don't even want kids seem to be abundantly fertile. Then in this case, it's hard to reconcile "I'll give him a better life" with "But she is family." Just because someone is blood related doesn't necessarily mean that a child will have the best opportunities there. It's tough, and I know you've seen it inside, and now outside, the system. I'm sure there is NO class on foster/adoption that can truly prepare you for all that you're going through. You ARE doing the right thing with the right intentions. Still, my heart goes out to you. It can't be easy.

P.S. I like the new look of your site!

Anonymous said...

I am in the very same situation.When a family member came forward(after a year)the case manager said you are just the foster parent but of course you are so much more. Laws don't leave room for bonding and feelings. Good luck!I am also in phx.

LIW (Lady In Waiting) said...

There's absolutely NOTHING easy about yout situation. Nothing. I understand the push toward family reunification but I can't say I always agree with it. I just can't. And stories like yours make me angry. There are SO few loving homes in this world to have found one and lost one feels tragic. But this is from someone who felt largely unloved in her childhood....

I still think that the scrapbook is an amazing thing to do and it takes great courage. I don't think that I could handle the emotional impact.

Is it wrong to wish that his grandmother will realize that she can't raise him and give him up for adoption so that you can keep him? I can't help it!

XOXO

liveurlife said...

I think you are right to say there is no real solution to the pain you are feeling. I just try to work at blocking some of the pain that adoption brings with thoughts of feeling blessed to be strong enough to in my own way deal with it.

Marthavmuffin said...

I am hoping it will work out for you as it did for us. We were notified of a MGM who wanted our girl and the first case worker made it seem like Jamie would be moved. Then we got assigned a new case worker who told us honestly that there were issues with the GM and that the home study would tell whether they would move Jamie. The GM didnt pass the home study and we did adopt our daughter in August. I will pray for the same outcome for you and your sweet boy.

OHN said...

I am headed to hell for what I am about to say but I can't help it..you caught me on a pissy day.

It makes me absolutely crazy that the laws are bent toward the "famiy". Bullshit. The family is the couple that takes that child, loves him 24 hours a day, stays up rocking him when he is teething, has no clothes that aren't spotted with baby puke, and would do anything in the world to keep that little person happy, healthy and stable.

Many times when our oldest son was little, I had these horrible thoughts that his bmom was going to show up at the door and there would be a protracted custody battle and I seriously decided, if that were to ever happen, that I would move,,,far far away,,with S1 and BigD. I know that is completely unrealistic and a bit bizarre and drastic but I was that crazed.

I know you don't have that option. This is a bit of a tricky thing but is there any way you are allowed to approach the grandmother and have a heart to heart? If it is the state is pushing to reunite...she may not be as committed to reunification as the system is leading you to believe---just a thought. My heart breaks just thinking about your sadness--I want to jump in and help but there is nothing I can do and I hate that.

Tricia said...

Re-unification? "The act of coming together... wait for it... AGAIN." or "to become unified again after being divided".

In my simpleton view? A child can only be "reunified" with it's birth parents. To move a child into a relatives care is another placement. Often an unnecessary one.

Let's try telling families who have privately adopted their children that they are not really family because they are not related by blood. This is what counties do to foster parents all. the. time.


Blah, blah, blah... I get it. I've been sorta on the inside and now am a foster/adopt parent. I know the intent to place children with family. I know I would want my nephew, niece, grandchild over a "random foster home". I get it, I do. But it is not reunification and should not be treated as such.

If TPR is a given, then any home that is interested should be considered and weighed by state adoptions. Relatives included.

The child is the issue for me. Not the potential parent (foster- adopt- relative, whatever). The child is bonded to who??? Why do we disrupt that bond for a relative- because of blood?

And now I want to go on a tirade about disrupting a placement and how it effects development etc. I'll spare you.

Can you tell this is a bit of a hot topic for me??

Sorry... and good luck with the grieving process. It sucks.

Dream Mommy said...

I think the only reason I survived all my losses is because we were able to adopt our first placement, so when others left, we weren't childless.

Of course I'm really struggling with my last loss and the anniversary of my little Princess' death is coming soon...

I agree. I consider these kids mine until the judge says otherwise and treat them that way.

Amanda said...

It's such a hard thing, especially when you're not reunifying (as another commenter said) but unifying... and in the process ripping a baby away from everything he or she has known and loved.

As for your question about how many cracks? In our case, the heart broke with the very first one. I wrote a post about how I didn't know what heartbroken was before Baby Bear. Now I do.

I think the real question is how much punishment you can endure before you throw up your hands and walk away. And I don't know what the answer to that one is. Yet.