Friday, November 30, 2012

Parent Rap

For all the parents (and foster parents!) out there:

"I looked on childrearing not only as a work of love and duty but as a profession that was fully interesting and challenging as any honourable profession in the world and one that demanded the best that I could bring to it." -- Rose Kennedy

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Affirmations for Saying Goodbye/Letting Go


Although I collected these quotes specifically because I could relate to them as a foster parent having to say goodbye to another foster child, as I was looking over them (particularly the first two) I was struck by how much they could apply to a birthparent having to say goodbye to their child at placement.  And I am aware that the grief of choosing to place a child or saying goodbye to a foster child isn't just a one-time event! 
Because of that realization and because those feelings of grief and loss are hitting so close to home with me lately, I feel like [quite literally] applauding birthmothers who put the needs of their children ahead of their own wants and desires and are willing to break their hearts for their child.  Especially in light of the fact that such a personal and complex decision may not be understood by others and they may not have the support they need.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


It’s our last week with Rose.

Although the good news is that we’ve had a month to prepare saying goodbye to her since learning of the newest developments in her case and Tia has invited us to still remain a part of Rose’s life (still working out the logistics of that situation- it’s complicated and I won’t be going into details)  it’s still hard.
I also think it’s safe to say that I’ve pretty much bounced back and forth between all of the stages of grief this past month.
  (I referred to the stages of grief back in this post, but I thought I’d use a different illustration this time.)
My first reaction at hearing the news that Rose would be leaving us was heartbreak- and shock.  I’ve since vacillated between depression and anger- sometimes several times in the same day.   
We’ve certainly had plenty of bargaining.  And a bit of denial, too.  When Rose toddles up to me and calls me “mom” with a smile on her face or comes up behind me and hugs the back of my leg while I’m doing the dishes I think: “This can’t be happening.  Please tell me I’m just going to wake up from a dream.” 
I think the hardest part for me personally has been having to watch Rose’s reaction the first couple of weeks of transitional visits when I would hand her over to Tia and Rose would immediately start squirming, and arching her back and crying and look at me with her pleading, deep brown eyes as if to say, “Why are you leaving me?”  “Where are you going?”  And I can’t logically explain to a toddler “I’m not leaving you- I have no choice.”
We’ve resigned ourselves to acceptance because, “There’s nothing we can do about it- we’re just the foster parents.”  After all, we went into foster care knowing beforehand that it’s not about us, and that it wouldn’t be easy- it’s about the children, right?
But that’s precisely what’s so frustrating about this whole situation:  if what were in Rose’s best interest were truly being taken into account why not just let her remain in the loving home she’s been in for a almost a year of her life with the family she’s safe with and securely attached to rather than having to be moved and disrupting her security?  Such train of thought always leads me back to anger again.
Rose won’t be with us anymore, but the important thing is that she’ll be in a safe home.  Not all children have that blessing.

Tiffany's Story

I came across this video from a blog post titled Why We Chose Foster Care written by a soon-to-be foster family.  It seems very appropriate to share during National Adoption Month.

On a related note, Tiffany's Story reminded me of an account shared in a fairly recent devotional in which Jeffrey R. Holland related a story a police officer shared with him:

In our conversations he told us that late one evening he was called to investigate a complaint in a particularly rough part of the city.  Over the roar of loud music and with the smell of marijuana in the air, he found one woman and several men drinking and profaning, all of them apparently totally oblivious of the five little children- aged about two through eight years of age- huddled together in one room, trying to sleep on a filthy floor with no bed, no mattress, no pillows, no anything.  Brother Freestone looked in the kitchen cupboards and in the refrigerator to see if he could find a single can or carton or box of food of any kind- but he literally could find nothing.  He said the dog barking in the backyard had more food than those children did.
In the mother's bedroom he found a bare mattress, the only one in the house.  He hunted until he found some sheets (if you could call them that), put them on the mattress, and tucked all five children into the makeshift bed.  With tears in his eyes he then knelt down, offered a prayer to Heavenly Father for their protection, and said good night.
As he arose and walked toward the door, one of the children, about age six, jumped out of bed, ran to him, grabbed him by the hand, and pled, "Will you please adopt me?"  With more tears in his eyes, he put the child back in bed, then found the stoned mother (the men had long since fled) and said to her: "I will be back tomorrow, and heaven help you if some changes are not evident by the time I walk in this door.  And there will be more changes after that.  You have my word on it."
At the conclusion of Holland's address, he said:
"Not many of us are going to be police officers or social service agents or judges sitting on a legal bench, but all of us should care for the welfare of others and the moral safety of our extended community."
"Those children in that home without food or clothing are sons and daughters of God.  That mother, more culpable because she is older and should be more responsible, is also a daughter of God.  Such situations may require tough love in formal, even legal ways, but we must try to help when and where we can."
For the full address click here.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

BraveLove and The Gift

ME after watching these clips:

And especially after hearing this beautiful line:

"But maybe, every once in a while, a mom and a mother will find each other and join hands and be for the other what they can't be for themselves."

The Gift from Jared Fadel on Vimeo.