Monday, August 27, 2012

Rose is Back

It’s been less than four months since Rose left our care and as of one week ago today she was court-ordered into state custody and placed back in our home again.

I didn’t see that coming.  Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say I didn’t see that coming so soon, considering how I categorized my feelings about Rose’s reunification in this post:
“The parents have worked hard and have some challenges ahead. I want things to work out for this family, but I have some concerns that this child will come back into care.”
The funny thing is that both my husband and I have recently been thinking that the timing was finally right to make contact with Rose’s mother again and to set up a time to see Rose.  But it turns out that before we even got the chance to get a hold of her and see how things were going, DCFS ended up contacting us and informing us of the latest developments in the case.
Now that Rose is back in our care I have mixed emotions.  Of course we’re delighted to see her again (as are our family members) but it’s not a win-win situation, like a private adoption where a birthmother consciously chooses a family to parent her child and gives them her blessing- as with our first adoption.  In fact, our daughter’s birthmother thanked US on Placement Day and we were like, “You’ve got it all backwards- YOU’RE the one to be thanked”!
These circumstances are obviously different because Rose’s mom has virtually no choice in the matter of where her child will end up.  In addition to the loss she must be feeling I can’t imagine the guilt she’s dealing with as well.  I know that Rose’s mother must feel terrible which makes me feel bad for her, too. 
When a child is removed from their family of origin and placed with a foster family- [even when the foster family and the birthparents have a good relationship, or when the foster child has lived with the foster family before] there is loss involved which can’t be ignored.
As for Rose, who is caught in the middle of everything, she is {Thank Goodness!} acting as if she hadn’t even left our care in the first place and has been making herself right at home.
The conflicting emotions inside of me make me think of players before a game of Church Ball:  Each team wants to be a good sport (or at least makes an attempt to appear somewhat sportsmanlike) so they pray that “both teams can play their best” or that “nobody will get hurt” but at the same time what they really desire is that their own team will win.  But praying for your team to win isn’t exactly something you should pray for, right?  Because if you’re praying for your team to win, then by default, you are praying that the other team will lose which is certainly not sportsmanlike not to mention a very un-Christian thing to do either. 
As counterproductive as it is to make foster care a “competition” between bio parents and the foster family [Refer to LESSON #9 from this post] doing so is almost inevitable when the first thing that people ask us when they learn that Rose is back in our care is “So, will you be able to adopt her now?”  or “How many more chances are her parents going to get?”. 
As for the answer of the second question, I often wonder the same thing.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Waiting . . .

I haven't had much to report on this blog lately.  This summer some out of state travel plans and a recent surgery & ensuing recovery period for me meant that we take a break from taking any foster placements.  And although it's been nice to cherish the one-on-one time and attention we can give our daughter right now, our house just seems so empty since we're back to a one child household again.

Q:  Do any other foster parents out there (or adoptive parents going through the waiting process) get ANTSY or feel like something's missing when you're in between placements or waiting to be licensed or matched with a child?

Lately I've had an ever present sense that something (or rather someone) is missing in our home and it's such an undeniable feeling that some days it's almost tangible.

Despite our eagerness for more children in our home, I have to remind myself that each day we don’t get a call for a foster placement it’s actually a good thing because it means that kids are safe and don’t have to go through the trauma of being removed from their family.

 As for being chosen by a birthmother, we’ve had a few “leads” but nothing’s panned out, so we will continue to wait . . .  We’re getting pretty good at that.  :)