Thursday, August 16, 2012

Life as a Foster Parent

In my year + experience as a Foster Parent thus far I’ve decided for me personally the hardest part is being reliant on other people to give you information. If you go into this with the mindset of wanting to adopt as we did your biggest concern is will the child(ren) be going back to their family of origin. That is a question that has more outcomes than a Choose Your Own Adventure book. There are countless curveballs with no black and white answers. There’s seemingly always a judge or social worker that can make an exception or give someone one more chance. Through all those decisions and actions as a Foster Parent you are 100% reliant on someone giving you the score. It often feels like you’re waiting on baited breath for the surgery status of someone you love but you’re not considered family and just have to pray a doctor or nurse takes pity on you to come back and report.

Your role as a Foster Parent is to take care of the kids, first and foremost. That is why your personal needs as the parent are not really met because in the end it’s not about you, it’s about the kids. All the people with the information on how things are going come to meet with you once a month and that visit is to see how the kids are doing, not talk about the case. They have an overwhelming workload of kids to watch out for so the details of actions that may effect the Foster parent are not high priority.

Until parental rights were terminated we wonder constantly about what they were doing to get their kids back. Court dates were the only time we were allowed to hear about progress. We’re back in the phase of waiting anxiously to hear news. The kids father has until tomorrow 8/17 to file an appeal for the termination of his rights. Everyone expected this to be submitted within a week of his last trial date but nothing so far. I say that not knowing if it was submitted and I just don’t know.

It’s maddening for a control freak such as myself to have someone I don’t even know hold so much power over the fate of my life. It’s a test of faith to say the least. I do have faith in the end the kids will be with us, really no doubt about that actually. It’s just the question of when and how ugly this fight is going to get before it’s all said and done.

Until then I’ll keep playing detective and reading every piece of material I can get my hands on. It’s pretty amazing what little nuggets I can pick up from paperwork. For example I was looking at our approval to travel to Hawaii and it came with a 22 page attachment of the case paper work which I guess they need to provide for the person approving. In that paperwork buried deep and just listed as a single line was the date the state would have an adoption hearing – 12/10/12. That is the latest if there was no appeal. If the state moves forward our lawyer would petition for the soonest date possible.

As I wait for more information my days are consumed with the little stuff like “did I cover them with enough sunscreen before sending them off to daycare?” and “how should we keep the kids cool this evening?”. Through the states eyes and our own, our first priority is being a parent and making sure the kids have all they need. That’s what is really important and thankfully it’s what consumes our time day in and out. 


  1. You said it best. It's the little things that matter as much, if not more, than the bigger things. It was such a blessing to watch your husband and you parent these wonderful two children with so much patience and love. The not knowing would kill me, but know this - everything will work out just fine, the way it's meant to be.

  2. You have said it perfectly Sarah. I too was (am) a control freak. Having to wait on everyone else was nearly the death of me! We actually spent our 9th wedding anniversary in New Orleans Square at Disneyland in a cute little cafe on the phone for 2 hours figuring out a complication of some kind. It IS about the kids.... every single time. You are doing such good things. As one who is just 5 months on this side of that adoption line, I can say you are in the home stretch. You really are! Some of the toughest moments are still ahead however. In the words of a Harry Potter movie, "you better hang-on, it's gonna be a bumpy ride!" You are incrediblel parents! I can't wait for the official introductions with pictures!