Saturday, February 16, 2013

The lowest lows

As a foster care case is on the up swing and things are going well everyone gets along and likes each other. You may even begin to believe that you are a GREAT foster parent, you maintain a respectful and friendly relationship with your foster child's parents. You bring birthday presents, Christmas presents, Valentines day gifts along with regular envelopes full of photos of your darling foster baby to his parents at visits. You are able to travel when ever you need to because your foster child's parents are eager for him to remain in your care and don't want him to have to go to respite care with strangers. You plan your travels so visits are not missed whenever possible. You actually look forward to seeing and visiting briefly with you foster child's parents. This can go on for months even years.

Suddenly after one bad day in court EVERYTHING changes.  Gone are the friendly visits, gone is ALL of the mutual respect. In fact it is as if you are invisible at visits, with the possible exception of coming into quick focus as a target for complaints and harsh words. Worse than that may be the new negative way in which your foster child is treated by his parents. This child is not meeting his parent's expectations and this must be because there is something wrong with the child and that must be your fault as the foster parent.

It is at this time that you might begin feel like a failure of a foster parent, and your first instinct may be to fight fire with FIRE. Taking the high road is an awfully steep climb and doesn't seem worth it as the instances of yelling and threatening alternate with staring straight through you like you don't exist, continue visit after visit. You lose sleep at night trying to come to terms with this sudden earth quake that has shaken you to your core.

On top of all this you may be asked to excuse and over look violently disrespectful behavior, to keep your fears to yourself and to try and be more understanding.

It sucks but the high road is the only road in this situation. You continue to make hand and foot print presents and hand over envelopes of photos. You smile and say hello each and every time even if you receive zero response to you greetings. You listen straight faced to insult after insult. You cry on the drive home after witnessing your foster child being shouted at then ignored by his parents because he can't bring himself to be happy during visits.

The good news is that all of this has NOTHING to do with you. You are the same as you ever were.

The bad news is that all of this hurts worse than a hundred bee stings.

If it weren't for that one little boy who lights up your days, you'd be running for the hills.


  1. Sorry things are icky. The kids are worth it, but it is so hard.

  2. i have been there. it is hard to separate yourself from it. you feel like it defines you, but I have come to learn that you cannot let these cases or the things people say about you define you.

    because of other people, we will always be looked at as the bad guy. we have to be sometimes just based on looking out for the child we care about. it isn't about us, it is about the situation and about other people's actions.

    hold your head high. we are not defined by these foster cases.

  3. I second everything MamaFoster has to say. Hang in there! Foster care sucks. :)

  4. oh sorry! I hope things resolve soon.