Monday, December 21, 2009

Christian's Birthfather

Originally Published on MEM's MEMOS on December 20, 2009

A couple of days after I wrote my last post (in which I took the liberty to vent about how much I dread birthparent visits) I got a call from Christian's caseworker informing me that his birth father suddenly decided to move back to Utah and would like to have a visit with his baby boy.

So on Tuesday morning I drove up to the DCFS Office to take Christian to see his birth father for the first time since they were separated 2 weeks ago.

Mental health experts say that pessimism isn't healthy or helpful, but I'm going to play devil's advocate on this one and beg to differ: When I'm in a particularly stressful situation I tend to worry and expect the worst possible outcome and then when the worse case scenario doesn't happen I am happily surprised and relieved.

Tuesday's visit was one of those times when I was happily surprised.

-I didn't have to drive up to Ogden in a snowstorm.

It was actually a very clear day with plenty of blue sky.

-Christian's birth father wasn't resentful or rude to me when I met him. He was actually very polite and when the visit was over he expressed his gratitude towards me for taking such good care of his son.

But perhaps what was most impressive to me about his birth father was how he interacted with Christian: When I lifted the sleeping baby out of his car seat and placed him into his father's arms, his father's face lit up with an expression of pure joy. It was almost like watching a little girl on Christmas morning discover a new doll.

It couldn't be more evident that Christian's birthfather is in love with his little boy and for that reason alone my heart goes out to this kid- (I must be getting older to refer to him as a kid!) He is a young (19) single parent who has fathered a child with a woman who is not interested or able to care for their child.

Christian's birthfather is trying to do all in his power to get his son back, which the court has mandated includes maintaining a steady job and housing. (He now has a job at McDonald's and proudly told me he has a place now too but I didn't ask for the details). Christian's caseworker was sick that day as well, otherwise I would have asked her a billion questions about the Service Plan.

It would be a lot easier on me if this birthfather were a total jerk- but he's not. Just meeting him once I could feel of his sincerity and there is an innocence about him that endears me to him.

As much as my husband and I want nothing more than to have another child, at this point in time it looks like the purpose of taking this placement is to provide Christian with a safe, loving home until he can be reunified with his father. It is perhaps one of the biggest ironies and heartaches of being a foster parent.

1 comment:

SmallAdventures said...

Congrats on the new placement. I completely agree with your last sentence in your post...being a foster parent is bittersweet at time.

I checked out your profile today...your pictures are darling!!! I hope YOUR baby comes home soon!