Thursday, July 17, 2008

God wants us to do WHAT?

I am a huge proponent of adoption from foster care, so please do not read this post and misunderstand my mildly negative comments about Tx Dept of Family & Prot. Svc. The majority of workers are doing the best they can with limited resources and time.

Our son's had multiple placements in less than 6 months. The foster homes their were placed in were not the best and their first year of life was not what it should have been. I am not even sure that they were in a better place than with their bio parents. At least, they would have received love and affection in the mist of the turmoil.

The old saying that one bad apple ruins the barrel is true in regard to foster homes. Not all adults should be foster parents. You have to be very patient and deal with a bunch of craziness. The kids come to you with issues and you have to roll with the punches and you have to change, not expecting the child to change. I believe the training we received helped us have a true sense of the worst case scenario. But you still are blind sided with your placements and the new things that come up with each placement.

When our adoption was finalized I felt a stirring in my heart. God was leading us to continue to be foster parents. WHAT? He wanted me to take in babies and then give them away? God showed me that I needed to give future mommies and daddies what I did not get with my son's: a happy, attached, developmentally on target child.

We called our worker and discussed what we wanted to do. She was so happy that we wanted to continue. We hoped that adding one more baby to the family was not sheer insanity. I would be home alone with three under 3 yrs.

Our first placement was a trial by fire. This poor little boy would not let me put him down. I had to carry him around all day long. My husband could not even look at him much less walk close. This short placement was only two weeks long but it should me I could do it. Over the next six months, we had 4 newborns. All eventually went to a relative or with a sibling in another foster home. Our first long placement was for 6 months, before he was adopted. Once again he was removed from a foster home and needed a temporary placement while his adoption was completed. This broke my heart. He only had 6 or 7 pages of pictures in his lifebook. I was fortunate to meet his new mom, and share with her his life in my home. As a stay at home mom, I was able to provide transportation to visits and got to participate in the visits at his new moms invitation. This is what I wanted: a connection.

Our next long term placement lasted 20 months and was exactly what I wanted. We made a difference in this child's life and his new parents were given a wonderful little boy. His lifebook was huge, the disk of digital pictures were too numerous to count. I had a journal that I wrote in, and recorded all his firsts. Because he attached to our family, the transition to his new family was smooth and he had no trouble attaching to his new parents.

In four years we fostered around 12 children including our own. 9 were less than 2 weeks old when they came to us. I hope and pray that we made a difference in every life. We choose in 2007 to close our foster home and me go back to work. I really am struggling with this decision right now and I am unsure where we will land.

I keep praying for direction and peace.

1 comment:

HollyAnn said...

Thanks for sharing! We are in TX too! God is laying adopiton on my heart again! I know there is an AA baby girl out there for us....we just don't know where....I have wondered about the foster system, and like you know the need but am not a fan of TDFS! :)