foster care

Little Engine Who Could

Today we went into court expecting the parents rights would be terminated. The parents have not shown up to court since over a year ago. The parents have not done one thing on their case plan. The parents have not passed a single drug test (only take them when cornered). And today they showed. A trial date has been set and they are contesting the termination of parental rights. Which they have every right to do so. That’s our legal system. If rights are terminated after trial, they have the right to appeal. It’s their right.

In the meantime, we continue to be foster parents when I just want to be the parent.

In the meantime, caseworkers, attorneys, and guardian ad litems still visit monthly.

In the meantime, I need a court order to take them on vacation with me.

In the meantime, if surgery is needed, I also need a court order.

In the meantime, I have to defend every bruise, scratch and bad day because I’m not “that” kind of foster parent. (Newly walking toddler = lots of bumps and bruises!)

In the meantime, they can be taken at a moment’s notice because the system deems it necessary.

My worries continue with no end in sight.

In the meantime, I go home, and I’m still Mommy.

In the meantime, I nag for them to eat their vegetables.

In the meantime, I tuck them in at night.

In the meantime, I get them showered, fed and ready for the school bus.

In the meantime, I turn sight words and ABCs into games.

 

At the end of the day, the parents haven’t done anything to show they can care for these kids. I have to keep my head up, my anxiety down, and stand by the side lines. While I think these thoughts, my heart breaks for the parents because they are in an impossible situation.

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foster care

Get me off the Roller coaster!

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.