Friday, August 1, 2008

Child O' Mine

Most of the fostering questions I get, is how can you let them go. Luckily we have not had to let go of too many. The ones we did have to say "Good bye" to hurt a lot. We let them go knowing that they were not in the right place.

We do not have any legal closure on the three children who have lived with us for over three years, so I do know how it feels to wonder if you will see this child grow up. Most of the people whom I know who foster, got into fostering primarily to adopt. I believe that everyone who adopts is looking to make the world a better place for the child/ren they do adopt. We all know, and are all told, that these foster children might go home. We sign on knowing that. But knowing and feeling are two very different things.

We know that these children "belong" to their parents, regardless of what their parents did or did not do. We take in these children knowing they could leave at any point along the way. We fall in love with these children. We are hardly ever given adequate information on where they came from or why they were removed. As time goes by we learn more about the parents. The persons that they have allowed themselves to become. We do not like these people, and are indignant that merely reproducing gives you rights.

My hard learned advice is that we must learn to care for these parents as the humans that they are and not the people they've become. We have more grace for the strangers on the street than the parents of our children. I started praying for my baby Mama not because it was the right thing to do, but because I could no longer stand to hate her for what she had allowed to happen to our babies. I was so mad the day we went for a visit that was being monitored by her family counselor. Me and the counselor behind the two way mirror, watching Mama sing the songs, and play the games that I had taught them. The counselor making comments on how well she interacted with them and how smart and well behaved they were. Of course no one had mentioned to the counselor that this was only the fourth time she'd seen them in six months. It was that day that I decided for my own benefit that hating Mama did no one any good, least of all me. I was still mad, but knew I had to change.

Could I not have sympathy for her situation? I tease that I was raised by wolves, but not the kind who eat their young. She was parenting the only way she knew how. Could I not see that she had gotten herself into quite a situation? How would I deal, if I had to deal with her life? This does not excuse her choices. We've all know, or have read about people overcoming amazing obstacles, but would I overcome or be overwhelmed? If I woke up in her shoes, what would I want?

She is the mother of half of my children. How can I not love her for giving them life? How can I not pray for her to overcome? How can I not pray for her to find God? Where is her Jesus?

Several months ago the kids and I started making scrap book pages for her. Here's what we're doing, pictures, drawings and what not. I don't even scrap book for myself. I don't have the time, but I'm making time for her. This is way out of my comfort zone, but I have to tell myself that this woman is an important part of my life.

She recently gave me a note thanking me and God for being there for her babies. It is a note I will always cherish. It means to me that we have a mutual understanding that we will share the mothering role, regardless of where they live.


Sugar-n-Spice said...

Are you reaching into my soul and writing what you find there?

Megan said...

true words. Even though, baby boy has gone twice now, I have been able to keep praying for bio mom. A certain Nueces county judge... having more problems with that!