Foster Care – Following the Need
We’re close to the tape now, in the home stretch. We’ve had our interviews, we’ve sent in all our paperwork. There are only a few steps left before we formally are licensed as foster parents – a safety check of the house (that requires that we assemble a crib that neither my husband nor I are entirely sure we remember how to put together) and the background checks of our emergency & respite caregivers. Then – license. We’re told it’ll probably be in January or February of 2019, and that we should expect a placement, likely a newborn, within a couple weeks of being licensed. It could even be the same day. Wow.
Our home study social worker is a seasoned veteran of Cuyahoga County – she’s been in the field for over 20 years and she knows a thing or two about this process. She’s real with us, shoots straight, tells us like it is, or at least, like she thinks it’ll be. She says it takes new foster parents about a year to really settle in. She tells us to just be parents, to do the best we can with what we have, and to ask for help if we need it. She hopes we get a seasoned resource manager. She’s happy because she believes we’re doing this for the right reasons. We’ll be examples to others. I’ve already been asked if I’d consider training new & hopeful foster parents because we ‘get it.’ We chose this path to adoption because this is where the need is, and I can speak powerfully about that. But I really am not sure how much is talk. Inwardly, I am terrified.
When there’s corruption in the world, investigators follow the money. Follow the money and you’ll uncover the deceptions, you’ll find the motivations. This is almost always true. It’s also a hard road. It’s easier not to investigate, to trust that most people have the best of intentions, and to just leave well enough alone when they do not. Going down the rabbit hole can uncover the absolute worst possible scenarios, things people would never have even dreamed possible. I imagine investigators often wish they never opened certain doors. It can’t be great for one’s faith in humanity.
Well, we’re here, on this path, because we followed the need. Our motives for adoption are not selfish – we want to grow our family, yes, but if there were no kids out there needing homes, we could just have more children. We want to adopt to help – to provide a foundation, a home base, love, support, and family to a child who otherwise wouldn’t have those things. Kids in need aren’t surrendered by parents for adoption by private agencies. They’re removed by state agencies who have determined that their parents are incapable of caring for them – a traumatic event for both parent and child. These are the kids that need us. These are the kids the foster care system is tasked with finding ‘permanency’ for, children baptized by trauma into bureauocracy by an agency with too much regulation and not enough support. There aren’t enough good people willing to take the risks associated with helping these kids – people with solid roots, faith in human resilience, in survival, in a higher calling. So this is where the need is. We’re following the need. Looking at it through that lens, it’s impossible for me to see another path forward.
So, here we are, following the need. We’re entering a world where the laws are not in our favor, where we are signing up to have our hearts broken. We are entering a world where our job is to teach a child how to attach, how to bond, how to love, all while remembering they’re not our child, until they are. We have to do this and keep ourselves safe, too. I have no idea how to do this. I follow the blogs of other foster parents, and from this reading, I don’t think any human being does. But like others before us, we will do the best we can. We will love, and we will lose. I think I’ve accepted that as best I can. After all, it’s the struggles in life, the heartbreaks, the relationships that help mold your world view that also help you grow as a person. Sometimes you need to be in a place where your comfort zone isn’t so much as stretched but miles away. So here we are.
I can’t change the world for everyone, but I can help change the world for one person. Is it crazy that I’m just a little excited, too?
Until next time …
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