Foster care is not for the faint of heart. I am a very emotional and anxious person with a big heart and that can be a serious disadvantage when dealing with the rigors of the “system” in the foster care world.
First you have the biological parents. You have sympathy/empathy and anger towards them, especially if they are doing NOTHING for their plan and have substance abuse issues.
Second you have really difficult conversations with the foster kids. Whether they’ve been with you a day, a year or (I’m assuming) ten years, the talks are hard. Mason (3) asked what my last name is and what Joe’s last name in. Then Fiona, the 6 year old half sister, states clearly and with intent, her last name. Joe and I just look at each other. Mommy and Daddy have to explain that their biological parents love them but can’t take care of them.
Third, you have an entire system of people judging your every move. Every cough, diaper rash and bad hair day can be used against you. Any one can come into your house and pull those kids out at a moment’s notice. There is always an element of fear, especially if you are hoping to adopt.
If you are on the road to TPR, every congratulations on “potentially” being able to adopt is actually a tragedy. Your new family is due to a traumatic event that will never be healed. Foster to adopt always ends in heartbreak for someone.
I’m sitting here, sweating it out, waiting for a text from the caseworker. He is on his way to speak to the biological parents.