Thursday, February 17, 2011

Foster care gave me split personality disorder

Today was the custody and permanency plan hearing for our boys. They were ordered home by March 1, and they'll physically go home for good Feb 27th. We expected this decision, but that didn't really soften the blow. I'm still sorting through my emotions and I'm realizing that there are several different perspectives rolling around inside my one crazy head.

Personality #1: The Humanitarian

The humanitarian in me is so happy to have been part of the solution for a family in need. I feel like biological families should be together and I'm so happy for Dad. I'm reminded of the foster care mantra, "Our goal is reunification". I want to sing kumbaya or something similar while bringing the family back together. I realize that when we signed up to be foster parents, it wasn't to lay claim to anyone else's kids, but to provide a safe place when a child needs one. I want to bring the boys home today- the sooner the better! They need to live with their parents as soon as possible and then I can go on to the next case and help the next family reunite because "We are the world" and such...

Personality #2: Mama Bear

I am pressed dangerously close to violence to protect my babies. I have a gut instinct that my children are being moved from our very safe, secure home into a place that is a sneeze away from danger. I know that the life my children are used to is healthy and loving, and coming to a screeching halt. The situation they are being moved to is busy, unpredictable, and filled with new faces who haven't been around for the entire year we've had them. I'm sad about losing my loves, and angry that no one else sees that moving a 1yr old who has only known me as his Mommy is NOT healthy or pro-child. It is putting the rights of the parent above the best interest of the child. I was the one who went to the NICU everyday and held him when he was 3lbs. We got him to his healthy, 17lb 12th month. Dad said baby 3 is "easy going" just like him. UM, No! He's easygoing just like us. His mannerisms are from us. His temperment is from us. His food preference is from us. We've cared for him 11mo, 1week, and 1day. Longer than biomom was pregnant, longer than biodad was around at conception and visits combined. I am outraged that anyone would even consider nature v. nurture at this point! I'm doubting my ability to love any other children. No new kids can measure up to my boys, especially now that I'm jaded by the system. I want to keep my boys until the very last second until the caseworker has to come to my house and physically take them from me.

Personality #3- The Well-rounded Hopeful

Then there's this middle ground, where I get the legal basis of why they were sent home. I understand that Dad believes he loves these kids the best. I understand that if every child was moved into a "better" home, all kids would be moved because there is always a family who can provide more, teach better, etc. I'm holding onto Dad's word that we can stay connected with the boys after they go home. I know that new kids will come and I will heal. I also know that if the boys ever come back into care, they will be placed with us again. I believe that the kids are young enough to adjust to a different parenting style and culture. They won't notice the financial differences between their foster and bio families. I accept my complete lack of control in this situation and will ride out this final week by trying to stay present and absorb every moment with them.

I would like to see some stats about mental illness diagnoses after foster care certification, because I can't be the only one losing my mind!!

1 comment:

  1. I am crazy too!! Thank you for sharing your story it is helping me through our foster/ adopt process too!