Friday, January 28, 2011

Preparing to Say Goodbye to George

This week I took George to his first transitional visit to meet his relatives who will become his new foster family, (and most likely his permanent family through adoption.) If it’s not confusing enough to try and explain to a two-year old “Meet your new mommy and daddy” this visit took place shortly after he had a visit at the DCFS office with his “other” mommy and daddy. The judge still insists that George have visits with his first caregivers despite the fact that he will not be returning to their care.

I was very anxious to finally meet George’s new parents and they seem very nice, a little nervous (who wouldn’t be!), but eager to embark on this new adventure of welcoming a little boy into their family. Incidentally, they don’t even know George’s birthmother personally, but can easily track how they are related. George’s new parents are fairly young and have no children and both work during the day, so it looks like George will be spending a lot of time in day care. Fortunately, they are both going to be able to take off a week off of work to help bond with George which will hopefully give him a better sense of permanency.

I brought a detailed list to the visit of George’s routines and likes and dislikes and a couple of concerns they should be aware of in the hopes that the transition can go as smoothly as possible for everyone. The caseworker is planning on having one more visit next week before moving him into his caregiver’s care for good over the weekend. There was the option of having them take him for the weekend for a “trial run” and seeing how things went from there, but it would probably be far too confusing for George to spend a weekend or overnight with them and then get shuffled back to us.

Besides his adjustment to his new home, my other biggest concern about George leaving has been how our daughter will react. I was extremely relieved that she seemed to be okay with the prospect of her foster brother going “home” sooner than we expected when I first mentioned it to her. We originally told her that we would be babysitting him until the summer, so when I told her that he would be leaving soon and asked how she felt about it she candidly answered, “That’s okay because then he won’t step on my toes or push me.” Most of the time they’ve gotten along well but they’ve definitely had their squabbles, too- just like “regular” siblings. Squabbles or not, she's going to miss him because a couple of days ago when I brought it up again, but put a time frame on his deaprture- that he would be leaving next week- I think it made it more real to her and in between sobs she would say, "But I don't want him to go to his parents!" 

I think this placement has been a lot harder on our little girl than our previous placement because she’s had to compete more for attention and toys, etc. Maybe at this point in time a baby would be a better fit for our family. We’ve fostered a pre-schooler before, but then again we didn’t have any other children at the time so we were able to focus all of our attention solely on his needs.

Speaking of which, I hope that the fact that George’s relatives don’t have any other children will be a big asset in terms of being able to spend one-on-one time with him and showering him with all of the love and attention he needs. Let the bonding begin!


FootPrints said...

we'll be praying for a smooth transition for ALL involved!

Amy said...

I think that you are amazing. I often think about fostering, but don't know if I could handle the separation. I know you worry about your daughter. But you are giving her such a wonderful example of unconditional love by fostering these lovable children!

Karine said...

Thank you for posting your thoughts and feelings. All that your going through. I am currently fostering 3 children, all siblings... and that makes 8 children in my family. They want us to adopt them. WE are bonding and doing well. I have some concerns but we are all trying to adjust. I look to your posts and have learned a lot. HUGS

Unknown said...

It is so hard to say goodbye. Don't underestimate your daughter - she will miss George more than she realizes. Our 3- year- old still talks about a foster girl that left last summer. Praying for George and both his families.