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?




4 comments:

  1. Wow. Yes. We entered foster care not to adopt. But lately my heartstrings have been pulled... ;)

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  2. I always feel that by taking in an infant that then becomes adoptable it is our duty to stand by that child. They have only ever known our family. Then I think that if we were to not adopt then we would be the ones causing that first trauma of the child really being taken from a family that they have been a part of. If that makes any sense? Also now in our state when a child is placed you have to state if you would be the adoptive resource or not if the child does become adoptable. If you say no then within the first week or so the child will be moved.

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    1. I agree with you, but it doesn't always feel that simple. I wouldn't think of sending Primo on his way at this point, but the decision is not without it's pros and cons, not to mention thinking about what is best for your immediate family.

      I've seen a few infants moved multiple times during their cases because DH$ wanted them in pre-adoptive homes, but then the course of the case changes to reunification and the babies are moved again, then the case changes back towards adoption and the children are moved again. Uncertainty in foster care is abundant, and these moves can go on for years. I believe it is best for a child to stay in one home until the ultimate outcome of the case is reached, but we have to be careful about making foster parents feel guilty and from this taking on more than they can handle.

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  3. It breaks my heart, I can't imagine making your decision. I wouldn't want to parent for 40 years! I wish DCFS could do a better job at matching a child's likely case progression with foster parents' desire to adopt or not. My family is very young (1 child), and I have told my agency we would love to adopt, even sibling groups. They consistently stonewall me and say "this is not an adoption agency" and they don't even have anything they call "pre-adoptive" homes. All homes are foster homes. It's like adoption is a dirty word and anti-reunification. It's very frustrating as I know there are children who can not be reunified but who then get multiple disruptions. I wish the system better served the children.

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