Monday, July 18, 2011

A Permanent Family for Precious

After our first weekend with Precious I called our RFC to give her an update on how things went.  Among other things I told her “I think Precious would do best in a family that has either no children or where she is the youngest child with no children close to her age.”

 “Are you still willing to have her in your home as an emergency placement until a permanent foster family is found for her?”  She asked with concern. 
“Of course” I answered.

I went on to explain that the truth of the matter is that if we didn’t already have any children, we would pursue things with Precious as a permanent foster/adoptive family- despite all of her issues.  But the bottom line is that our daughter’s needs come first, which is precisely why we were willing to take Precious as an emergency placement but not willing to commit to being her permanent foster family (and possible adoptive family).  The girls are just too close in age and there is just too much conflict- it’s not a fair situation to either of them.  Precious needs a family who can give her a lot of individualized attention.
My husband and I both agreed that although we want another child more than anything, Precious is not the best fit for our family and vice versa.  So if I know that in my head why do I feel so guilty in my heart about the prospect of her leaving to another family?  I think it has something to do with this quote which another foster mother recently shared:
 “There is an instinct in a woman to love most her own child - and an instinct to make any child who needs her love, her own." ~Robert Brault
Five days after Precious was placed in our care our RFC planned on presenting Precious’s case in a meeting in an attempt to find a permanent foster family who would be the best possible fit for her.  On the one hand, I wanted her to be placed as soon as possible because I knew that the longer she stayed with us the more attached everyone would become to each other and the harder it would be to say goodbye.  On the other hand, such an important decision shouldn’t be rushed.
 As relieved as we were at the prospect of Precious leaving and that our home could be back to “normal” again we were also deeply concerned for her and prayed that her new foster family would be as patient and nurturing as possible.
At the end of the workday on the fifth day that Precious was with us our RFC called us to report that as soon as they had narrowed down a list of foster families to be prospective placements for Precious and were about to start making phone calls, they received word that some relatives had stepped forward who were interested in doing a kinship placement.
Fortunately, these relatives live in our State so there would be no ICPC delays or complications and they were expected to be able to pass their background checks with no problems. 
So the next question on our minds was:  How much longer will Precious be in our home?  The biggest question in foster care [whether in regards to the next meeting, court date, or in this case, transition to another foster home] is  always “WHEN?” or  “HOW SOON?”  
The answer we were told is that it is possible that she could leave our home within a couple of days or she he could stay with us until the beginning of next week.  Of course, one of the earliest lessons I ever learned as a foster parent is that things seldom go as planned.
We were relieved to hear that Precious would be able to stay with relatives rather than strangers.  In fact, before hearing about the relatives and this kinship placement I called a transitional therapist to get her advice on how we could make the transition to her new foster home a little easier for her.  I know that Precious was only with us a week, but that’s seven days of attachment and routine.  My biggest worry was that she would feel rejected.  It almost felt like what a disrupted placement must feel like since I had so many contradictory emotions like worry and guilt and relief all jumbled inside of me at once.

No comments: