Infertility to Adoption – Post 8 “How long do we get to stay together?”
How long do we get to stay together? That was the question everyone wanted to know, including us.
We knew that within 7 days of a child being removed from their parent’s custody, a hearing had to take place in front of the judge and the parents usually come to that hearing, especially if they are interested in reunification.
Then DSS gives the parents a plan. This means that they have a list of things to do and accomplish to regain the possibility of being reunited with their children. When the parents are presented the plan, we were asked to come to the meeting. It was like being in the principles office for a stranger’s offense. Just awkward. But you are going to experience lots of awkward situations if you become foster parents, trust me.
For example a common list of plan items are:
- Come to supervised visits twice a week.
- Show up for court.
- Take drug tests when asked, and be clean.
- Get a job or stay employed.
- Don’t get arrested or have any new charges brought against you.
- Take parenting classes.
- Have mental health assessments.
- Maintain a residence.
You get the idea. Basically they are showing they are getting their life together and are working on providing a safe and stable home.
Then it’s a waiting game. It feels like a really slow moving roller coaster.
Some days are exciting and fun, other days the gravity of the situation has you scared and wanting to scream. Being a foster parent is quite a ride.
Months go by and sometimes the parents get overwhelmed and give up working their plan. Sometimes they are high when they come to visits. Sometimes they makeup excuses as to why they can’t come. Sometimes they come and are very present and give the kids hope that it’s all going to be ok.
People ask lots of questions…
The other question you have to get used to is people asking why the children have been taken away, because some people are just curious, especially if fostering is something they don’t know much about. Of course some people are just nosey. There is no other way to put it.
Quite simply, you have to watch what you say. This is where other foster parent friends come in handy. You can vent to each other, encourage each other and have someone to talk to who gets it all.
Our family was about to change forever.
Our journey with two babies lasted for 8 months. We were devastated when we were sitting in court with Mary’s family and heard they would be her guardians. They consoled us, but they were happy to have her in their lives. They asked us when we wanted to pack up her things and make the transfer. We knew we needed to just do it. Hanging on wouldn’t make it any easier. So we planned for later on that day.
We sobbed in the car, sobbed when we got home and I’m getting choked up thinking about it now, 3 years later. We sat on our screened in porch and had one last sweet time together, just the four of us.
They came to our house to pick her up and we cried again after they left. It was the most despair we have ever experienced. It’s like a death. Death of what you thought your life would be.
I wish I could go back and tell myself to just take a week off and mourn. But I didn’t. I went back to work the next day. I put one foot in front of the other, and I cried. A lot. But I busy-ed myself.
Then grief hit me like a wave…
About 3 weeks later, grief hit me like a wave. I had a client in my spa room for a facial and I started feeling bad. I had to step out of the room, cry, get myself together enough to finish her, then I left for the day.
I had to pull over twice on the way home I was so distraught. My husband was hours away on business, and I had to make sure Essie got home from daycare, so my in-laws came to the rescue.
I came straight home and laid in the bed crying in physical and emotional pain. Three days later I was diagnosed with the flu. I believe that the emotional grief I had, weakened my resistance and immune system. At least I had time to mourn now.
We took comfort in each other and in our relationship with God. It was a very difficult time.
But don’t be sad for us, we have an amazing story that couldn’t have happened without this chapter. There is much more to come.
Thanks for reading!
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