We’ve been sheltering-in-place for 6 months and while some days are certainly more challenging then others, we continue to find ways to stay sane in all of the insanity around us. Or, as sane as we can be.
Life has certainly changed in other ways as well. We are no longer a licensed foster family. Saying good-bye to our last 3 kiddos was extremely hard and some of us have struggled more than others with the last good-bye. It’s understandable since our last two had been with us off and on for 2 1/2 years. Even though we had said good-bye twice before, we knew this would be our last good-bye and that made emotions extremely high. The system failed these kids over and over and over again. It was like watching a train wreck, all while trying to figure out how to make it stop and knowing we had no control to stop it. Of the 10 foster care cases we’ve been part of, there was no comparison between the other 9 and this one case. Even the workers knew the system was failing these kids and their hands were tied. Now they are back with their family and we can only hope that the long history they have had with the foster care system is behind them.
When we left Illinois over 4 1/2 years ago, we thought we had put our foster care journey behind us. I can say, with 100% certainty, that in the State of Texas, foster families can easily be held hostage by the state. Your life is constantly held under a microscope and while it’s understandable, it’s extremely difficult to have strangers continually walk thru your home. Not being able to go on vacation without permission from case workers, judges, bio family, etc. Spending hours each month completing reports. Having bio parents falsely accuse you of hurting or allowing their child to be hurt. Having bio parents stalk your home, when they aren’t suppose to know where you live. Not knowing if you’ll have support from the state or if they’ll simply living you to fend for yourself. The list of what we went thru in the State of Texas goes on and on and on.
That was our downside of foster care for our family, but we experienced so many positives as well. Like the mom who wrote a letter to us that brought me to tears as she expressed her thanks and genuine gratefulness that we were caring for her only child. All she wanted was a chance to get better and become the mom her child deserved. Or the mom who was so happy and excited to meet me and find comfort in the situation she found herself in. That same mom who was was equally as excited when she discovered we would be caring for another one of her children. The joy of walking out of the courtroom as our baby girl legally became forever part of our family. The moments in which a child began to smile and feel safe in our home. So many positive experiences will stay with us as we close this chapter in our lives.
Now we move on.
Hubby has recently began a new role with his company.
We have begun our 9th year of home school.
Some future changes are in the works (more on that another time).
Adjustments. Changes. Happiness. Sorrow. Pain. Excitement. Anticipation.
Letting go of the past.
Looking forward to the future.
Living for today.
And there is more to come!
I was about to say, “How moving,” but I meant emotionally, not the more mundane reality of relocating. The experience of foster-parenting from your point of view is touching. Someday it will be even more powerful heard from the children placed in your care.
Despite the drawbacks and challenges, you have made a difference in some young lives and, as one therapist once told me, an even seemingly remote positive influence can be a lifeline for many people. Think of a teacher, for instance.
Blessings as you move ahead.