Monday, April 22, 2013

canceled home visit

Busted my butt getting ready for DH$ to come out to the house today. They called and canceled 1.5 hours after they were due to arrive.

On the up side, Primo is napping, dinner is prepped and the house is super tidy. Not sure what to do with myself.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Where do we go from here

Mike and I didn't get into to foster care to adopt. We have 4 children, we did not yearn to raise any more. When it came to raising teenagers we have had more than our share of serious issues to deal with in the last 5 years.

We decided to do foster care to provide a safe and loving home to an infant or toddler who needed some where to stay until they could go back home.

We prayed every night that Primo would be reunited with his parents and siblings. But it is beginning to look like this will not happen.

So here we are. Primo is completely bonded with us and has been a part of our family for over 18 months. I find myself not wanting to even think about adoption until we know if parental rights will be terminated, some time this summer.

We all want Primo to stay, but I have to admit that when I think of the long road ahead I feel a bit hesitant. I know all to well what it takes to get a child to 18 alive and well, not to mention beyond. When I was young and ideal I only thought of my children becoming 18, adults in the eyes of the law, and leaving home for college, jobs or travel. I now know that not all children are adults at 18, it can take quite a few more years than that. Those can be difficult years for some children.

Some of my children have glided from childhood through the teen years quite effortlessly, others have encountered HUGE challenges during this time. I could go on and on, all this to say that I am acutely aware that parenting takes copious amounts of patience and stamina. I have been parenting for over 20 years, and in the back of my mind I harbor this question: do I really want to sign up for another 20 year stint?

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Family Decision

Primo now has a new baby sibling. We made the very difficult and yet so simple decision not to take his sibling.

First let me say that we did not take this decision lightly. The bottom line was that after all the pressure from Primo's agency and meeting over and over with our immediate family we just couldn't get everyone living in our home on board. My teenaged daughters are just plain finished with foster care. They are worn out, disillusioned, stressed and anxious. It's not working for them.

They are all completely in love with Primo and want him to stay forever if it works out, but the idea of prolonging the uncertainty that has become our whole family's daily lives is not an option for them.

So, the court's decision to set a termination date for Primo and his older brothers, but give the bio parents over a year to work a plan for the new baby made the decision easy for my children. They simply stated that they could not live with the continued drama, not when there was an end in sight for Primo's case. On top of that was the very real possibility that we could have Primo's baby sibling in our home for a year and half and then he might have transitioned back to Primo's parents. We would have to explain to a three year old why his sibling was leaving to go live with his bio parents, while he stayed with our family.

As much as Mike and I wanted to make everything work so that Primo could be raised with his brother, we simply could not ignore the fact that foster care has irreparably changed our family dynamic. Our children have suffered huge losses (along with many benefits) at the hands of the foster care system. It is just a fact. Their lives as they new them pre-foster care have ceased to exist. All of our daughters have handled this in different ways, but it has become increasingly obvious that they have reached their limit.

On top of this is the fact that Primo has many, many siblings and to our knowledge only two have been kept together. We will be able to maintain a relationship with these two older brothers and with the new baby sibling who are all within easy travel distance from us.

While we went back and forth over and over again with this heart wrenching decision the one thing I kept reminding myself of was that none of us had caused the situation that Primo and his many siblings now find themselves in. All of the foster parents and the adoptive parents who now care for Primo's siblings were and are trying to make the best out of a painful situation. There are no fairy tale endings, each family must decide how much they can take on, while keeping the rest of their family intact and healthy.

I have to say that since we made this decision it has become abundantly clear that this was the BEST decision we could have made for our family.